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In loving memory of
Nancy Gay Monroe
  • February 14, 1947
  • -
  • October 22, 2020

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Obituary

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

Or

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.


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  1. 12 Nov 2020
    Karen Knott says:
    "Friends are siblings God never gave us." When I met Nancy several years ago, our friendship was born and I got a new sister! Her house always smelled of hazelnut... Her coffee of hospitality. The aroma created a home like feeling. Even when we moved apart, we would talk almost everyday on the phone. She knew what I like so she encouraged me, (more like seducing me) to move to Florida. She wanted me to grow separately, but not a part while we were both down here in Florida living so close to each other. Nancy was nurturing and funny; a sister I could live with. Thank you Nancy for being my friend and my sister I love you, may you rest in peace.

  2. 12 Nov 2020
    Karen Knott posted an image:
    At the shell factory in Florida.
    At the shell factory in Florida.

  3. 03 Nov 2020
    Pam Meurer lit a candle:
    Lit since November 3, 2020 at 11:25:57 AM

  4. 03 Nov 2020
    Donna Wright lit a candle:
    Lit since November 3, 2020 at 11:54:03 AM

  5. 31 Oct 2020
    Marcia Kelly says:
    I'm so sorry that you lost your life partner, mother, grandmother. Prayers for you, your children and grandchildren who hold her memories deep in your hearts. May you find comfort with God and those who share your loss.

  6. 30 Oct 2020
    Leslie Hacker says:
    Dear Rick and Family,
    What beautiful words and memories you have. This speaks so well of Nancy. She had an endless smile and delighted laughter.

  7. 29 Oct 2020
    John & Dianne Turner says:
    Rick and family, John and I are so sorry to learn of Nancy's passing. She was a sweet lady, always doing for others! We sure had some good time when we worked in LYO together, so many years ago! May you feel the love and hugs of your many friends who are reaching out to comfort you during this time.

  8. 29 Oct 2020
    Pr. John says:
    Dear Rick and family, Sad to hear of Nancy's passing, glad the suffering's over and she's now rejoicing in heaven. We shall all meet again, God bless, Pr. John

  9. 29 Oct 2020
    Roark Williams says:
    Rick, it's probably been 50 years but I will never forget you and your family. My deepest condolences on your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  10. 28 Oct 2020
    Dave & Kathy Newell says:
    Rick and family,
    We are so sorry to hear about Nancy’s passing. She was such a sweet lady, and it sounds like she lived a full life. Nancy and I (Kathy) drove to several state pharmacy conventions together and met our husbands there, since they had to be there longer. Nancy always kept me entertained and laughing throughout the whole drive. We pray for peace and comfort for your family, and the recounting of many memories in the days to come.

  11. 28 Oct 2020
    Roger Smith says:
    Dear Rick and family
    So sorry to hear of the passing of Nancy. We loved coaching Rick in SO and her HELPING. Always kept things lively. She was a beautiful person. Our prayers are with you. Thanks for sharing her with us. Roger and Candy Smith

  12. 28 Oct 2020
    Connie Dunkin says:
    Rick, Devon, Rick, and Tom,
    I am so very saddened to hear of the loss of Nancy. She was a very special person during my very young adult life. I remember coming out to the farm to babysit. Watching Nancy fight and defeat Cancer, and do it with such grace, was a true inspiration. Praying for your happy memories to help you. Blessings to you all

  13. 28 Oct 2020
    B Tilly says:
    Dear Rick and family
    Denny and I were so sorry to learn of Nancy’s sudden passing. Hard for all of you I’m sure. While the years have caused us to fall out of touch, I firmly recall many Fourth of July parties with your family, hayrack rides and fireworks and fun filled potlucks. We always considered you good friends due to our families and love of pharmacy, and Peoria.
    I am praying for God to wrap you in his arms while you deal with your loss of Nancy.
    Sincerely, Denny and Barb Tilly.

  14. 28 Oct 2020
    Linda Bealmer says:
    I’m glad her laugh was mentioned in the obituary. My husband and I went with Rick and Nancy to Starved Rock on the river boat from Peoria. We were entertained one evening by “Mark Twain” who was telling us and a room full of other guests stories. I can’t remember what set Nancy off with laughter, but “Mark” stopped talking and stared at her for about 5 minutes with no expression on his face. This set Nancy laughing even harder, and if I remember correctly, the whole room was laughing. I don’t know how “Mark” kept a straight face. So many good memories of my friend.

  15. 27 Oct 2020
    Lynn Schaper posted an image:
    A hike on Pine Island toward the end of rainy season. In spite of what she told you Rick, I was the one who kept asking if she wanted to turn around, and SHE is the one who kept going ;) What a fun day, we had so many laughs!!!
    A hike on Pine Island toward the end of rainy season. In spite of what she told you Rick, I was the one who kept asking if she wanted to turn around, and SHE is the one who kept going ;) What a fun day, we had so many laughs!!!

  16. 27 Oct 2020
    Lynn Schaper posted an image:
    A hike on Pine Island near the end of rainy season. In spite of what Nancy told you Rick, I kept asking if she wanted to turn back and she kept going ;) We had so much fun and so many laughs that day.  And hey, she never fell!!!
    A hike on Pine Island near the end of rainy season. In spite of what Nancy told you Rick, I kept asking if she wanted to turn back and she kept going ;) We had so much fun and so many laughs that day. And hey, she never fell!!!

  17. 27 Oct 2020
    Devon Kelly posted an image:


  18. 27 Oct 2020
    Devon Kelly posted an image:
    Great pic of mom and dad taken a couple weeks ago.
    Great pic of mom and dad taken a couple weeks ago.

  19. 27 Oct 2020
    Jannelle King says:
    Nancy was a wonderful person to be around. Always making me laugh. She will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the family during this time.

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