On October 22, 2020, Nancy G. (Richards) Monroe went home to God. She reunited in Heaven with her parents, Harold Richards and Vada Mae Briggs Richards. Nancy was born on Valentine’s Day 1947 – a fitting day for a woman who had such a loving heart. She grew up with three brothers, Danny (Anna), Dave (Cheryl) and Tim (Jeanie) Richards who she loved dearly — even when they were playing pranks on her. She loved taking family vacations to Minnesota, except for the long car rides with rare bathroom breaks. When she was 17 years old, she lost her mother Vada in a car accident, and her dear cousin Joanne Ogden helped Nancy get through that extremely difficult time.
In 1961, she saw a picture of Rick Monroe in the Limestone High School yearbook and knew he was the one. In 1964, Rick finally asked her out, and their first date was to a Limestone basketball game followed by Hunt’s Drive-In so she could get her favorite tenderloin. She graduated from Limestone High School in 1965. On December 22, 1966, she gave her heart in marriage to Rick. During the early years of marriage, she focused her efforts on helping Rick get through pharmacy school at the University of Iowa and learning to cook some of his favorite meals. In their early years, they moved to a farm near Glasford, Illinois where they enjoyed gardening and hosting large Fourth of July gatherings. They later moved to Peoria and Morton, Illinois, before retiring to Old Bridge Village in Fort Myers, Florida in 2015. Other than becoming a “pickle ball widow” at Old Bridge, they were happily married for 54 years and even had the opportunity to renew their vows on their 50th wedding anniversary. He will certainly miss his loving wife and companion, and he hopes he loved his “Poo” enough.
She was a loving, energetic and creative mother to her three children, Devon (Corey) Kelly, Richard D. Monroe and Tom (Johnna) Monroe. She used her imagination to entertain her kids, having impromptu picnic lunches, making award winning Halloween costumes and helping her kids find hiding spots when Rick came home from work. Her love for her kids spilled over into all of their activities, and Nancy was a coach and biggest fan for her kids’ sports and band concerts and many Illinois Special Olympians. Her loving heart touched her kids’ friends too. Her home was an open gathering spot because she treated her kids’ friends as if they were part of the family, and it was no surprise that she was a favorite room parent and school volunteer.
The only job she loved more than being a mother was being Grandma to her six grandchildren, Ciara, Peyton and Kannon Kelly and Hannah, Grace and Jared Monroe, all of whom had Grandma wrapped around their little finger. She loved taking her grandchildren for walks exploring Bradley Park, always stopping on the way to drop rocks down the storm drain so they could hear the splash. Using her creative imagination, she would take her grandchildren on magic carpet rides using one of her area rugs and would make up stories about all of the magical places they would visit. Every trip was different, unless the grandkids asked to go back to one of their favorite places, where Grandma would remember every important detail about that trip. She was as quick to play with matchbox cars with her grandsons as she was to play beauty parlor with her granddaughters and they all loved drawing pictures in Grandma’s carpet.
Nancy’s heart had an unlimited capacity for love and she treated everyone like family. In addition to her family above, she also had step-siblings, Bob (Carol) Curtiss, Leslie Curtiss Hacker, Ron (Maria) Curtiss and Rick Curtiss (who preceded her in death), many wonderful brother and sister in-laws, cousins, nieces and nephews and friends all over the United States and Canada. She made friends through being an active member of St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in Glasford, Illinois, an avid Bradley basketball and Iowa football fan, and numerous bowling leagues. Even in retirement, she was active socially at Old Bridge Village in Fort Myers, running Bunko with Rick and participated in golf cart parades, Rusty Hinges water aerobics and Broadway Palms Dinner Theater. During the Covid pandemic, she converted their carport to a front porch so she and Rick could visit with their many friends during the day and have a margarita at night.
She left us on a day of hope that the surgery she was about to have would bring positive physical change to her life. While we know she is happy and dancing in Heaven, her passing leaves a hole for all the people who loved her and were fortunate to feel her love. She never knew a stranger and she had an infectious laugh and smile that could brighten any room. She touched so many hearts and will be greatly missed by so many.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to:
St. Peter’s Lutheran Church
13221 W. Todd School Road
Glasford, IL 61533
Special Olympics Illinois
605 E. Willow Street
Normal, IL 61761
For those who loved Nancy as much as we did, we invite you to offer your condolences, share stories and pictures of your favorite memories of her with the family.
You are invited to Nancy’s Celebration of Life that will be held Friday, November 13, 6-8 pm at the United Methodist Church, 6005 S Adams St.,Bartonville, IL. We kindly ask that you adhere to COVID guidelines, wear a mask and follow social distancing.
Matthew 5:4 – Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.