On May 6, 1953, a baby entered the world in Yonkers, New York. Her mother, Joan Gnewuch, named her Nancy Carol. In 1955, Joan married Albert Henry Nuber, and Albert adopted Nancy. Nancy spent her first nine years in New Jersey, and then the family moved to Houston (like most everyone else who came to Houston at that time, Albert worked for an oil company).
Along the way, Albert and Joan provided Nancy with three brothers and two sisters; Nancy remained close to them throughout her life – although they did, from time to time, play pranks on one another.
While attending Bellaire High School, she met her future husband, John Graves. They married December 27, 1972, while he was in the US Army. When the Army sent John to Korea, Nancy followed, and began a life-long love of all things Korean – especially the cuisine. They then moved to Berkeley, California. While John attended college, Nancy began a career in department stores with H.C. Capwell’s, which soon became Emporium-Capwell’s. When they moved back to Houston, Nancy went to work for Foley’s Department Store, where she served for many years as the Vice-President of Shortage and Inventory Control.
After she left the retail world, she went to work for Saint Thomas’ Episcopal Church and School. As the Director of Facilities, she was instrumental in its recovery from Hurricane Harvey, which destroyed 70% of the campus buildings. In just six months, she oversaw the construction of a temporary campus in the parking lot across the street; it replaced all the destroyed classrooms. She then assisted with the design and implementation of the $27 million dollar capital project to replace the destroyed buildings and renovate and restore the church building. That project will be completed this year.
The greatest joys of her life, however, were her two children, Ashley Elizabeth and Richard Henry, and her granddaughter, Lillian Grace Denby. She was kind and warm-hearted and enjoyed helping others. She had many friends and cherished the time she spent with them.
Nancy died peacefully in the evening of March 10, 2022, with her family around her, after a difficult struggle with anaplastic thyroid cancer.
Nancy’s father, Albert, died in 1998, and her daughter, Ashley, in 2012. She is survived by her husband, John Christopher Graves; her mother, Joan Nuber; her son Richard Henry Graves and daughter in law Lauren Roesler Graves; her granddaughter, Lillian Grace Denby; her brothers Chuck (and Linda) Nuber, Tim Nuber and Corey Nuber; her sisters Bonnie (and Lonnie) Cameron and Holly Nuber; and by her nine nieces and nephews and many cousins, in-laws, and friends.
She wanted especially to thank the facilities staff at Saint Thomas’: Shelley Acker, Eli Diaz, Jose and Enya Amaya. She loved each of you and valued your hard work, dedication, and friendship.
Her family is grateful for the superb and compassionate care she received from MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, and the many doctors, nurses, aides, therapists, and other support people she encountered while receiving treatment. Nancy’s sisters Bonnie and Holly devoted themselves to her care during her illness, and she loved them deeply.
Nancy’s funeral will be held on Tuesday, March 22, 2022 at 2 PM at Saint Thomas’ Episcopal Church, 4900 Jackwood Street, Houston, Texas, 77096 with a reception to follow.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Capital Campaign Fund of Saint Thomas’ Episcopal Church and School to continue the work that was dear to her heart. (https://www.stes.org/giving/ste-strong)
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