Nancy Hicks Sheetz
July 9, 1935 – April 16, 2021
Nancy Hicks Sheetz, beloved mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, passed away on Friday, at the age of 85. Nancy was born in East Freedom to Paul and Edna (Lingenfelter) Hicks. She had an older brother, Richard (Dick), whom she adored. Nancy attended Hollidaysburg Junior High School and Altoona High School, graduating in 1953. While in high school, Nancy was the star of several plays and president of her senior class.
Nancy married G. Robert (Bob) Sheetz shortly after graduation, and they had four children in six years: Jenny, Stan, Elizabeth and Polly. Nancy created a home that was filled with music, art and culture, as she shared her love of piano, painting, knitting and crafting with her children. Nancy had a passion for theater in particular, taking on leading roles in Guys and Dolls, The King and I and Kiss Me Kate at the Mishler Theatre in the 1960s.
Nancy was a lifelong supporter of the Altoona Community Theater and the Blair County Historical Society and an active board member of the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art (SAMA). She co-chaired SAMA’s annual gala in 2013, and was a patron year after year. She created one-of-a-kind items for the event’s silent auction, from decoupaged plates and vases to purses and jewelry. In the days leading up to her death, she continued to make bracelets adorned with beads, buttons and bows for this year’s event.
Nancy was an artist in every sense of the word. She was a talented actress and a skilled pianist with a beautiful voice. She painted portraits, landscapes and furniture; her work spans paintings of children at the beach, reproductions of Monet and other impressionists and antiques transformed into colorful decorative furnishings that will be cherished for generations. She made clothes (for adults, children, babies and dolls), jewelry, pocket books and dollhouses. Her homes were like no other, reflecting her love for art nouveau, art deco, MacKenzie-Childs and objects collected during her travels to China and Japan. Her gardens were a world away, lush with Queen Anne’s lace, tree peonies, hibiscus and countless other flowers that Nancy carefully cultivated.
Nancy was also a loving and much loved friend to a large circle of all ages. Her creativity was magnetic and her sense of humor was infectious; she made people laugh until they cried. Her generous heart touched the lives of many, as she took young artists under her wing and others in need into her home. Nancy’s love extended to many animals over the years as well and, in particular, her rescued greyhound, Brindle.
Finally, Nancy was “Mimi,” a beloved grandmother to seven grandchildren and great-grandmother to seven more. To them, visits to Mimi’s house were synonymous with love, happiness, warmth, music, crafts, chicken salad with grapes and lemon poppy seed cake. Visits from Mimi were pure joy. In later years, as some of her grandchildren relocated and her travel became limited, Mimi made her presence felt with thoughtful gift boxes and the best musical greeting cards, a favorite of her young great-grandchildren.
Nancy made the world a more beautiful place in so many ways and will be deeply missed.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents (Paul and Edna) and brother (Dick). She is survived by her four children (Jenny, Stan, Elizabeth and Polly), their father (Bob), her seven grandchildren (Katie, Adam, Pat, Caroline, Lauren, Samantha and Robert) and her seven great-grandchildren (Graham, Violet, Owen, Jett, Grace, Harper and Starri).
A memorial service and celebration of life will be held at a future date, to be determined. If you would like to make a charitable donation in Nancy’s honor, please consider the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, 1210 11th Ave., Altoona, PA 16601, or Mending Hearts Animal Rescue, P.O. Box 97, Hollidaysburg, PA, 16648.
Arrangements are provided by The Stevens Mortuary Inc., 1421 Eighth Ave., Altoona, PA 16602.
Condolences may be made at www.stevensfamilyfuneralhomes.com or Stevens Family Funeral Homes Facebook.