Nancy L Hoeltzel

January 17, 1944 ~ February 27, 2018 (age 74)


Beloved mother and grandmother, dear friend and devoted teacher, Nancy Lou Hoeltzel, of Marshall, passed away on February 27, 2018, after a brief but intense illness, and a lifetime of deep caring and kindness.Born on January 17, 1944, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, Nancy grew up in Albion and went to college at the University of Michigan. There she met Harvey, the love of her life. They married in 1965, while both still in school, living on scholarships and loans. After graduating, she taught third grade in Saline to finance Harv's master's degree program. The two then moved to Battle Creek, where in 1969, Nancy was thrilled to have her first son, Steve. Two years later, after moving to Marshall, she was thrilled to have Mark.In 1975 Nancy was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the prognosis was not good, even after surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. She decided that if she survived, she wanted to touch others' lives in positive ways. Nancy survived, and she more than lived up to that resolution.While still undergoing chemo, Nancy worked on and obtained a master's degree in Education at WMU. She started and led a local branch of the cancer support group Make Today Count, sharing wisdom and encouragement through the Reach to Recovery program. Her efforts eventually led her to the Rose Garden at the White House, where Nancy was honored with an American Cancer Society Courage Award in 1987.In 1989, Nancy was named Marshall's Teacher of the Year. An educator for decades, she taught kindergarten at Shearman School for 15 years. Afterward she was often invited to former students' graduations and weddings. After retiring from teaching, she served as Visitation Minister at Marshall United Methodist Church.Nancy also volunteered as the story lady at Barnes and Noble, a part-time job reading to small children which brought her much joy. She loved her family, children, cats, bird watching, cats, kayaking, and cats. Those who knew her will long remember Nancy's bravery, resilience, compassion, and kindness.Nancy was preceded in death by her much beloved husband of 39 years, Harvey Franklin Hoeltzel; her parents, Paul Carnell and Phyllis (Whipple) Carnell; and her brother Michael Carnell. She is survived by three sisters, two sons, and three grandchildren: Cara Carnell, Cher Carnell, and Beth Carnell; Steven Hoeltzel and his wife Beth Eck; and Mark Hoeltzel, his wife Jean Carstensen, and their children Cooper, Nora, and Sawyer.A visitation for Nancy will be held on Monday, March 5, 2018 in Marshall, Michigan from 4 to 8 pm located at Kempf Family Funeral Home, Marshall Chapter, 723 US 27 North, Marshall, Michigan, 49068. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, March 6, 2018 at 11 am at Marshall United Methodist Church with Pastor Matt West officiating. The interment will follow at the Lyon Lake Cemetery at 2:30 pm.Memorial contributions may be shared with the Nancy Hoeltzel Early Education Scholarship, the Harvey Hoeltzel Memorial Scholarship (both scholarships administered by the Marshall Community Foundation), and The Humane Society. Family and friends may send condolences or share a memory at Arrangements were entrusted by Kempf Family Funeral and Cremation Services.

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