Nancy Worden
1954 - 2021
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Nancy Worden
Nancy Lee Worden, internationally known artist, teacher, feminist and devoted mother, died at home on February 17th, 2021. She was born in Boston, MA in 1954 to Phillip Worden and Eva Lillian Worden (later Canzler). Her family moved around until she, her mother and sister Linda settled in Ellensburg, WA in the mid 1960's.
Nancy discovered her deep love of jewelry making while in high school and pursued it her entire life. After receiving her BA from Central Washington University, she earned her MFA from the University of Georgia in 1980. Nancy eventually moved to Seattle where she became a very active member of the metal arts community.
Nancy was a member of the Seattle Metals Guild, Society of North American Goldsmiths, American Crafts Council and the Democratic Party. Her work is known for weaving together a female narrative with twentieth century American artifacts. Nancy's work has been exhibited internationally and is represented in many permanent collections of museums around the U.S. and Europe, including the Smithsonian American Art Museum.
Nancy's loyalty to home was very important to her and she was committed to supporting Pacific Northwest artists. Nancy was a teaching artist for the Washington State Arts Commission, which propelled her into middle school classrooms, spreading the gift of metalworking to kids around the state. Nancy was instrumental in the Seattle Metals Guild's "Passing The Torch" exhibit for Washington State high school metals students. She received two awards from Artist Trust in addition to her fellowship.
Nancy lived with ALS for over a decade. She contributed to finding a treatment by participating in the drug trial at the ACTRI in San Diego, and made over fifty trips to participate in the research while continuing her creative work.
Nancy was a focused and unstoppable force of nature. She was not afraid to imagine and realize big dreams. She cared passionately and completely about everything she did. Her strength and her passion lives on in the power of her work. She is survived by her husband Will Reed and daughter Avery Reed. Nancy died in her sleep and we hope she has transitioned to a place where she is dancing.
Nancy established the Minerva Scholarship at the CWU Department of Art + Design as an inspiration to talented, young artists.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Daily Record from Mar. 3 to Mar. 6, 2021.
Memories & Condolences
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13 entries
March 22, 2021
I met Nancy at a Margie Gillis dance workshop 14 years ago and have enjoyed her friendship ever since. I still hear her voice singing 'when I'm 64' when a group of our dance class went skinny dipping at night on Cortez Island. She wanted us to have a reference point on shore. What a brilliant beacon she was. Love you Nancy. And love to your family. Keep dancing.
Thelma Fayle, Victoria BC, Canada
March 8, 2021
Met Nancy when Linda and her mom moved to Ellensburg,Nancy was so full of life along with her sister and they were such strong woman,bless them and their families
Carol Ohlde wippel
Friend
March 8, 2021
My husband and I write to express our deepest condolences to the Reed and Worden families for their loss.

We, Monique and Bob Hauser, are the proud parents of Rey Hauser. Nancy hired Rey to assist her in her studio to continue her recent work of art. In the short time they worked together, there seemed to be an instant bond and kindred spirit of art. Rey told us how much she enjoyed working with Nancy and what a wonderful mentor she was to them.

My husband and I are eternally grateful to Nancy for taking Rey under her wing, for teaching and guiding them. They had a special relationship and we appreciate all that Nancy did for Rey.

We only wish we were able to meet Nancy in person to express our sincerest gratitude.

We are so very sorry for your loss.

Monique and Bob Hauser
Monique Hauser
Friend
March 7, 2021
I remember Nancy and her husband Will from our time at Orca@Columbia elementary school. Nancy was active in PTSA helping to instill creativity through the arts within our little school community. Thank you, Nancy for sharing talent and passion with the students at Orca all those years. We all benefited no matter how old we were.
Stephanie Ragland and Jerry Johnsen
Acquaintance
March 6, 2021
Nancy lived at a higher level, a faster pace, a deeper consciousness with an ever-expanding capacity and persistence to create and appreciate regardless of impediments. She left the world so very much richer with her contributions to art and humanity. I will be forever grateful for the privilege of knowing her and for the remarkable legacy she has so generously left us.
Beverly Vifian
Friend
March 5, 2021
A woman of firery integrity, and compassion. No horizon was too far to check out. Her forces will be missed here, but we trust will resound now on the other side.
Jimmy Jet & Elaine Klansnic
Friend
March 2, 2021
Group of 10 Memorial Trees
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Judy Wagonfeld
March 2, 2021
Although I barely knew her personally, I admired her immensely!
Lynda Watson
Friend
March 2, 2021
So sorry to learn of this news. Many wonderful memories of my Cortona summer taking her class. She was so inspiring to all. She will be missed.
Jim Norton
Student
March 2, 2021
Nancy was a loyal friend, a talented artist and a feisty warrior.
Eleanor Moty
Friend
March 2, 2021
Nancy was a wonderful person, kind, passionate, offered paths to many people and made the world a better place. She will be missed. I am glad to have her in my memory.
Charles lewton-brain
Friend
March 2, 2021
Nancy,s courage and perserverance during tha past years was admirable...her creative self was indomitable and her positive nature excels....her memory will be with me forever
Helen Drutt
Friend
March 2, 2021
A true friend and mentor. Nancy will be greatly missed by our family
Randy and Laura Wise
Friend
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