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Please make checks payable to Jenny Deleon.
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Life Story / Obituary
Nancy Alford could always be counted on for her quick wit which brought endless smiles to those she knew and loved. Even as her health suffered, Nancy kept her chin up and remained positive. Despite her uplifting attitude, there was a side to Nancy that warmed the hearts of many. She was a happy woman who had a big heart, yet almost to a fault. Through her caring and compassionate nature, she could also be a little hard headed at times. Most importantly, being true to her beliefs and the love of family was what mattered most to her. For these things and so much more, she will be fondly remembered.
Although conservative in nature, the decade of the 1950s sculpted the culture of America. Everything from music to movies, art and media to beloved comic strips and cartoons introduced households to a whole new way of life. With manufacturing and home construction on the rise, the economy boomed as the suburban dream was being realized. It was indeed a time of change as well as blessings, especially in the lives of Walter and Audrey (Billman) Ludwig of Kalamazoo, Michigan when on September 12, 1951 they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Nancy into their arms.
As the oldest, Nancy was later joined by two sisters, Becky and Chris, and two brothers, Chuck and Randy. Her father was a hard working welder by trade while her mother remained at home as a homemaker. Nancy was a fun-loving and outgoing girl right from the start. She shared the friendships of many and throughout her school years she experienced the joys of youth. Having attended the local schools, Nancy went on to graduate from Kalamazoo Central High School with the Class of 1969. In fact, she even helped with several of her class reunions over the years and assisted in locating lost classmates. A pretty young woman, during this period of her life she also dabbled in some modeling. Following high school, Nancy worked at Fabri-Cal before landing a job at Bronson Hospital. She was married for a short time, and when that marriage ended, she placed her efforts into her work, family, and friends.
Her position as a transport person at Bronson paid off in a positive light for Nancy when she met a handsome orthopedic technician there by the name of Michael Alford. Nancy and Mike got to know one another through their work and became fast friends. She often referred to him as the “Amazon” and herself as the “Shrimp” when they worked together. Although they never dated, in time they both confessed that their feelings for one another included that of love. Mike never needed to propose to Nancy as they simply decided to get married, and on September 25, 1976, they were blessed in marriage in the Bronson Hospital Chapel by the hospital chaplain.
Mike and Nancy set out to begin their new lives together which also included Mike’s six year old daughter, Jenny from his previous marriage. Nancy loved Jenny as her own, and together they made a loving and caring home for her. Nancy was a good, attentive mother. She filled Jenny’s summers with fun times and made their family vacations special. When Jenny was involved in scouting, Nancy was a Girl Scout leader for her troop. As mother and daughter, when their relationship when through the typical, stormy conflicts, their love for each other always remained.
In her free time, Nancy enjoyed various hobbies including crocheting, cross-stitch, and needlepoint. She especially loved crocheting baby blankets. She did word search puzzles and liked reading Ellery Queen mystery magazines. For many years she was a fan of Alfred Hitchcock movies, and most recently was into watching NCIS along with her longtime favorite soap opera, The Young and the Restless. She loved to dance and sing, and when it came to music, she enjoyed listening to a variety of music genres. Nancy had a way all her own of making the Christmas season bright by decorating the entire house with festive flair. She also had a sweet tooth and was sure to have tasty treats at hand for all to enjoy.
Nancy had a great love for animals and their home was always filled with the love of a four legged companion. She also had a heart for children. For many years she operated a daycare out of her home, and treated all of the kids like her own. Her heart was especially grateful for her two grandchildren, Bryant and Catalina whom she loved dearly and was quite close to.
Through the years, Nancy experienced various health issues. Even through three heart attacks and suffering from arthritis, her positive outlook on life remained, as well as her wonderful sense of humor. Although never one to refrain from her opinion, Nancy knew the important lessons in life, like forgiveness, holding fast to her beliefs and being there for family. When Nancy loved, she did so deeply and completely, and to the last of her days, she gave fully from her heart.
Nancy Alford, age 63, of Portage died at her home on Saturday, May 30, 2015. Members of her family include her husband, Mike; daughter, Jenny (Benny) Deleon; two grandchildren, Bryant Alford and Catalina Deleon; her mother, Audrey Ludwig; sisters, Becky (Brad) Smith, Chris (Joe) Olney; brothers, Chuck and Randy Ludwig; several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services for Nancy will be held at 12:30 PM on Monday, June 8, 2015 at the Life Story Funeral Home-Betzler, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (375-2900) where her family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Ft. Custer National Cemetery. Please visit Nancy’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can sign her guestbook and share a favorite memory. Memorial contributions may be made to the family.