Nancy Wiley Walker, family matriarch, piano teacher and mother

Nancy Wiley Walker, 99, died peacefully on July 20, 2021 at Woodstock Terrace, in Woodstock, Vermont. With tears in our eyes, we remember the youngest Wiley sibling who through her longevity and stature became the family matriarch. Her caring nature, positive outlook and interest in life and those she met along the way, brightened our lives and was our role model on how to live. She was a teacher of life and always there to listen to whomever needed her.

Nancy was born on December 12, 1921 to William Carroll Wiley and Isabelle LeCato Wiley in Orange, New Jersey, the fourth of four children. Nancy grew up in Maplewood, New Jersey and spent summer vacations in her favorite place Sakonnet, RI. After graduating from Maplewood High School in 1940, she went on to attend college at Wells College in New York and The Juilliard School of Music in New York City. She earned her Bachelor's degree years later from Empire State College.

Nancy met her husband, Thomas Luther Walker, through friends at Camp Kittatinny on Fairview Lake in New Jersey. Following their respective WWII military service, they married in 1947 and raised a family of four children: Linda, Peggy, Kit and Thomas Mark. Although Nancy’s family was the center of her life, teaching music was a close second. Nancy taught piano for over 60 years to generations of students in New Jersey, New York and finally Montpelier, Vermont. Her love of music lives on in her family and her beloved students. Nancy and Tom retired to Montpelier Vermont in 1982 and quickly became involved members of the community. It was difficult to walk the streets with her in town and not have to stop and greet friends, neighbors, and past piano students. Nancy's love of people extended well beyond her immediate friends and relatives to each and every new person she met. She always wanted to learn more about her new friend and would usually find a way to make a connection.

She lived at Westview Meadows, as an “original resident”, for over 17 years. She was predeceased by her husband of 57 years, Tom Walker, and by her daughter Peggy Anne. She is survived by her daughters Linda Jackson (Bruce)
of Middlesex Vermont, and Kit Walker (Rob) of Waterbury Center Vermont and son Thomas Mark Walker (Maria) of Monroe, New York. She also leaves behind 6 grandchildren: Crosley, Taylor, Colin, Dana, William and Anna, and 4 great-grandchildren.

In addition to being a strong mother, Nancy’s biggest source of strength came from her limitless faith. The way she navigated the difficulties she was faced with was through her devotion to Christianity and its teachings. A truly ethical person, she regularly showed us how this strength was compassionate and real. Her “second family” has always been at her church, the most recent the parishioners at Christ Church in Montpelier. As with her previous homes of worship, she was a regular participant and supporter of many programs at the church.

A memorial service to celebrate Nancy’s life will be held this fall at Christ Church.

Donations, in lieu of flowers, can be made to Christ Church, Montpelier, the Humane Society, or to Doctors Without Borders.

Submitted by:

Linda Jackson
[email protected]