Nancy Simpson-Brice

Nancy Simpson-Brice

Nancy Simpson-Brice
July 6, 1947 – March 27, 2023
Oskaloosa, Iowa | Age 75

Nancy Lee Stier Simpson-Brice, 75, of Oskaloosa, IA, departed this earth on March 27, 2023, after a valiant battle with lung cancer. Nancy was born on July 6, 1947, to Alvin and Fern (Backhaus) Stier, in Crawford County, IA.

Nancy grew up attending both country and town schools in Crawford County, Iowa. After graduating from Schleswig IA High School in 1965, she continued on to Iowa State University, graduating with a BS in Elementary Education in 1968.

In December of 1968, she married Riley F. Simpson during one of the worst blizzards of the decade.

Nancy taught 4th grade at Fellows Elementary in Ames while Riley finished his degree. They moved to Cedar Rapids where she was a substitute teacher, a pharmaceutical order taker, and a Girl Friday in a dentist office. During this time a son, Zachary Evan was born. Soon after moving to Sioux City, a second child, daughter Anne Meredith, joined the family. While Nancy was a stay-at-home mom, she was an active school volunteer, homeroom mom, taxi service and fitness nut.

A move to Marion, IA introduced Nancy to the workings of a public library. (She had always been a voracious reader. Mother Fern always said that Nancy was born with her head in a book!). She held various positions at the Marion Public Library. In 1993 she returned to school, this time to the University of Iowa, receiving a Masters in Library Science in 1995. Nancy accepted a position as Director of the Oskaloosa Public Library and jumped into a major $3.65 million building project. The resulting “new” library remains a gem in the city.

After an amicable divorce, Nancy made Oskaloosa her full-time home where Michael P Brice entered her life. After buying a farm and building a house together, they married in June 2007 and began life on the Brice Ranch. Rescue animals and nature became high priorities for them.

Nancy retired from the Oskaloosa Library in 2003, and together with co-librarian Julie Hansen, opened Book Vault bookstore on the Oskaloosa square in 2005. The rest of her working years were spent working at what she loved: books! As founder, then manager, then consultant of Book Vault, Nancy was active in the regional booksellers’ group, MIBA and served on their board from 2011 until 2017. During that time, she delighted in meeting and hosting authors, traveling to conferences, and collecting BOOKS! At one point, Michael built her a “cubby” above the garage so she would have enough space for her books. She continued to read and write short blurbs of the books she loved. She always enjoyed putting books into people’s hands, sending out many boxes of books to family and friends. In 2018 Nancy joined a small but mighty national women’s group, the Determined Women. There she became friends with women from all over the country.

In 2018 she and her sister Marsha sold the family farm in Crawford County, IA and purchased a vacation rental, Eagle Haven, on the Lake of the Ozarks. She delighted in renting it out to large family groups but saved time so she and her family could enjoy it themselves.

Nancy loved to travel. With Michael, friends and family she was fortunate to visit all major U.S. cities, the Caribbean, Mexico, Iceland, and many European countries. She joined Michael on his boat for parts of the “Grand Loop.”

A farm girl at heart, she loved her life at home on the Brice Ranch with Michael. They enjoyed all of nature, delighting in feeding and spotting wildlife, enjoying the pond and many visits from family and friends. Their life was packed full of pets, ending with her chicken flock, “Earl and the Girls.”

Nancy is survived by her husband Michael, her son, Zach (JoAnna) Simpson of Bloomington MN, her daughter Anne (John) Simpson-Kantner of Ypsilanti MI, her stepsons Matt (Tracy) Brice from San Antonio TX and Dan (Summer) Brice from “the top of the lane,” Oskaloosa. Also her beloved grandchildren, Ben and Kate Simpson, Gemma and Naia Brice, Caden and Caley Brice, and Jon Peden. Her only sister, Marsha (Jim) Lindstrom lives in Kiron, IA. Riley and Louie Simpson from Sioux City remained part of her beloved family. Cousins and other relatives are scattered throughout the country. Nancy had some of the best friends in the world and enjoyed many hours with them.
Preceded in death by her parents: Alvin and Fern.

As previously planned her body was cremated. Celebrations of Life will be held at the Bates Funeral Chapel, Thursday, March 30, 2023 at 1:00 PM, with Visitation beginning at 11:00 AM until 1:00 PM. Bates Funeral Chapel is in charge of the arrangements.
At family request, memorials can be made to Stephens Memorial Animal Shelter and Hospice of Mahaska County.

To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Nancy Simpson-Brice please visit the Bates Funeral Chapel Sympathy Store.

Posted by on Mar 28 2023. Filed under Obituaries. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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