Whisnant, Nancy Jane Scott
July 20, 1931 - January 21, 2021
Nancy Jane Scott Whisnant was born at home on July 20, 1931, daughter of Rev. W. L. Scott, a Methodist preacher from Ashe County, N.C., and Bertha Stanbury Scott, a saintly sermon-writing woman who was the daughter of the keepers of a boardinghouse on what is now the campus of Appalachian State University.
Nancy and her five siblings grew up as Methodist nomads, living for a few years at a time in diverse places like Rutherford College, Forest City, Concord, and Polkville. It was in Polkville where the parsonage was next door to the home of a lanky redheaded comic who was smitten with her and presented a store-bought cake for her 15th birthday.
Bob Whisnant and Nancy married just two weeks after her 20th birthday, on August 4, 1951.
They had daughters Linda in 1953 and Judy in 1956, and a son, Scott, in 1961. Nancy is survived by her children, their spouses, Todd DePriest, John Bell, and Celia Rivenbark, respectively, and grandchildren, Nathan Bell (and wife Emily Gary) and Lucy Bell and Sophie Whisnant and many adoring nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by all her siblings: Alice Armfield and Rachel Jones of Jamestown, N.C., W. L. Scott, Jr. of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Mary Clark Seelye of Berkeley, Calif., and James A. Scott of Cleveland, Ohio.
Around 1960 Nancy went to work as the financial secretary of Jamestown United Methodist Church, where she and her family were fixtures for more than 50 years. She greeted callers, broke in preachers, counted donations, published bulletins, and comforted the community with her warm smile and self-effacing, gentle manner until she retired in 1997, the same year her husband Bob died suddenly.
All the while Nancy's main preoccupation was nurturing and raising their three children. She taught them by example about courage, commitment, love, and forgiveness. She was keenly interested in every detail of their lives and delighted with their every accomplishment. Often, when they were little, she would exclaim to each one, "I'm crazy about you!" Having lost her own parents in her mid-20's, she devoted herself to her children with all her heart.
When the grand mural is painted, the centerpiece of Nancy's life will be a table laden with delicious food. Although not wealthy or well educated in the culinary arts, she was a master Southern chef, a folk artistic genius with fried chicken, mac and cheese, and strawberry cobbler, to name just a few of her myriad creations. Her knack for perfect crispiness, and velvety texture, and divinely crusted fruit was only surpassed by her knack for serving it all at once, piping hot, and making it seem effortless. She will be remembered for the generous and understated way she had of giving these creations at times of sadness and celebration.
Nancy, a person of deep faith, died on January 21, 2021, from complications of COVID-19. A service celebrating her life will be held at a later date. Some of her ashes will be spread in her beloved Ashe County.
Memorial gifts may be made to: Class of 1953 Scholarship Fund in memory of Nancy Scott Whisnant, Greensboro College, 815 W. Market St., Greensboro, NC 27401; Jamestown United Methodist Church Outreach Center; or ashesharingcenter.org
The family welcomes your remembrances and condolences at www.cumbyfuneral.com
Cumby Family Funeral Service
1015 Eastchester Drive High Point, North Carolina
Published by Greensboro News & Record on Jan. 24, 2021.