Nancy Anne Easter (nee Carter), of Brockville, passed away peacefully at her home on Tuesday. March 14, 2023. Nancy was born in Peterborough, Ontario on August 30, 1945 to Mary and Robert W. Carter III. She moved to Brockville with her parents when she was 4 years old and was raised on James St. with her siblings, Cheryl Lana, Robert IV known as ‘Wee’ Bobbie, and Grant. Sadly, the family suffered the loss of Cheryl and ‘Wee’ Bobbie when Nancy was a teenager.
As a child, Nancy spent many summers camping and boating on the St Lawrence River. During these summers, the population of their home would more than double as relatives were always welcomed for frequent visits. She attended Commonwealth School and Brockville Collegiate Institute. It was in high school that Nancy met her former husband Barry Easter. It was after her first daughter Catherine was born that she realized the most important role in life was being a mother. Though Nancy fully embraced being a mother, she also participated in the feminist movement of the 1960’s and became a working woman as well. For many years, she worked at the Brockville General Hospital in Admitting. After the death of her father, Nancy and her mother purchased a home in Brockville’s north end. She enjoyed playing tennis with Cathy in the summers, so much so, she decided to take up front desk duties at the YMCA.
In the mid 1970’s, Nancy and her family moved to Fort St John, British Columbia. Here, her family grew with the arrival of her daughters, Sara and Jennifer. Nancy found living in a frontier town interesting. She began a successful career in finance, working at the Continental Bank in Fort St John. It was at the bank that she met Fred Underwood, a man who became very special to her at this time.
Nancy, much like her father, had an affinity for Brockville and decided in the 1980’s to move back to the area to raise her children. She also wanted to be closer to her brother Grant and his family, including his children Robert and Kristi. She, and her mother Mary, lived in the Glenn Wood Place area for 18 years, making many friendships and adding ‘chosen son’ Steve Marshall to our lives. Much like her childhood home, Glenn Wood was always a welcoming hub for all her children’s friends and others who always stopped by for coffee and a chat. Shortly after returning to Brockville, Nancy went back to school to fulfill a lifelong dream of starting a career in the Nursing profession. In 1984, she graduated from the Registered Nursing Assistant Programme at St Lawrence College. After graduation, she worked for many years in the Emergency Department of the Brockville General Hospital. During this time, she was also ‘on call’ 24 hours a day in the neighbourhood tending to any child who hurt themselves playing or directing neighbours to doctors with more expertise than she concerning their ailments.
However, Nancy’s priority was always her children. She was a member of her children’s school PTAs, event committees, and was a classroom volunteer. She attended every school play, science fair, sporting event and field trip. Mrs. Easter’s group on field trips were always treated to extra snacks she would pack and would always see the attractions that interested them at art galleries or museums, even if they were not on the itinerary. Curiosity was always to be fostered. She raised her children in a home filled with books, music, and laughter. She, herself, was a life-long student and encouraged her daughters in their educational pursuits while they followed their passions. They will forever be grateful to her for this support and for being their loudest cheerleader.
In the 1990’s, Nancy would be found at the Brockville Arts Centre most weekends with her daughter Jennifer at the Thrill Dance Club. For many years, she was “Backstage Mom” to many dancers, extending the same encouragement and support to them that she showed her own children. Toward the end of the decade, Nancy experienced two of the greatest losses in her life in close succession, that of her younger brother Grant and her mother Mary, who she was totally devoted to. Life for her was never the same.
The changes in her life continued into the new millennium, but these changes brought times of great joy and happiness. She moved into a new apartment with a view of the river and made many new friends. She joined the building’s coffee club and even went on a trip to Quebec with her neighbours to see the Fall foliage. As an avid sports fan, Nancy spent many hours watching football. As a young couple, she and Barry attended many Ottawa Rough Riders CFL games and the Grey Cup. In later life, she enjoyed watching college football and the NFL. She had a great eye for talent, correctly predicting great professional careers of certain college players. The Bacardi Bronco Fantasy Football Team will really miss the President of their Booster Club. For as much as she loved football, her favorite sport was curling. One of the biggest thrills she had during these later years, was in 2013, when she attended the Scotties Women’s Curling Championship in Kingston, Ontario. Even though she spent only a few years living in B.C., she cheered for that provincial team in the tournament, as one of her relatives was playing for the squad. Over the rest of her life, she got to meet many of Canada’s best curlers.
Besides sports, Nancy was an avid daily viewer of “Jeopardy” and “Coronation Street.” She loved watching British television her entire life, lately everything from “Call the Midwife” to the “IT Crowd”. She also spent time with ‘her friends’ “Kelly and Ryan,” “Blue Bloods,” and perennial favorites “Matlock,” “Diagnosis Murder” and “The Waltons.” She especially enjoyed programmes about the immigrant experience in Canada. She loved the CBC show “Kim’s Convenience,” saying once to her daughter Sara, that it made her proud to be Canadian that shows like that one were made, so she could learn about her fellow Canadians from different walks of life. She was always very open-minded and supported all kinds of social causes, from Women’s Rights to lately giving her support to the LGBTQ+ community.
Nancy was always interested in using new technology. From being one of the first people at the BGH to work on a computer system, to leaning how to facetime with family members during the pandemic, she loved living in the future. As an avid reader, she toted her Kindle around with her everywhere, loving the ability to have books in an instant without having to find space to put them. She even became an internet sensation appearing in a daily segment on her son-in-law Clarke’s Twitch streaming programme. The ability to dispense her Grandmotherly wisdom to many around the world made her feel valued and needed.
Being a Grandmother was a job that she embraced with as much love as she did being a mother. For many years, she was a doting and loving Grandmother to the four-legged members of her children’s families. She always loved animals, and this was evident, as her Grand puppies and Grand kitties always received extra treats, special gifts, and especially cuddles when she would come to visit. She excelled at being a grandmother to her grandchildren, Madison and Benjamin, and later chosen Granddaughter Akima. Madison and Ben enjoyed special one-on-one time with her on their “Lucky Thursdays” and “Lucky Fridays.” They would play board games, read, watch TV, but most importantly, they would talk. Her Grandchildren say that it was a safe space where they could fully be themselves and consult with their Nanny/NanNan on any matter bothering them or celebrate any special accomplishment. She made it very clear that she would always love them unconditionally.
Private arrangements are entrusted to Irvine Funeral Home, 4 James St., East, Brockville. Nancy faced many health challenges during the last few years of her life, but she did it all with tenacity and good humour. She began dialysis treatments several years ago at The Brockville Dialysis Clinic where she thought of everyone there as a second family. This sentiment extended to others who supported her and allowed her to stay independent. These people included Cassandra Friesen from the SMILE Program, Chloe and Patty from Care Partners, and Cathy Nicolls. She also valued everyone at Brockville Pharmasave, City Cab, and Brockville Paratransit, who always took the time to go the extra mile for her.
Nancy’s family would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everyone above and to those who have reached out to them with support during this difficult time, including: Holly Sunderland, Sharlene Kearns, Carol and Wayne Fingas, Donella Easter and the Moffit family, Brian and Kelly Bain, The Gatto Family, Pine Valley many in the floral industry, Dan Hamilton, Joe Ricke and the kind members of the Inkling Folk Fellowship, The Ruttan family and the Staff and Cadets of the 113 Brockville Rifles RCACC, Richard and Charles Massey, several work colleges, countless friends and neighbors.
As per Nancy’s wishes a Celebration of Life will be held in her honour at a later date to be announced. Arrangements are entrusted to the Irvine Funeral Home, 4 James East, Brockville, ON. Donations in Nancy’s memory to The Brockville Dialysis Clinic (http://www.ontariorenalnetwork.ca/en/local-services/south-east) or The Sandra Schmirler Foundation (sandraschmirier.org) will be gratefully acknowledged by the family. Leave a condolence, share a memory of Nancy or make a donation online at www.irvinememorial.com
Nancy left her family a wonderful legacy by instilling in them the values of kindness, compassion, humour, advocacy, fairness, courage, and curiosity. This legacy will be carried forth by her family with the profound love for one another that she always showed. She will be dearly missed by all of us. Leave a condolence or share a memory of Nancy by clicking on the Memory Button above.