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Nancy was a ‘class’ act for schools

Unicoi County lost a fine lady last week. I was saddened to hear that Nancy Bogart had passed.
I’ve known Nancy for years and was proud to call her my friend. Often in the past, I would take the opportunity to walk to the post office and collect the mail for The Erwin Record. It was a chance to get out of the office, get a breath of fresh air and a little exercise. Each day that I would pass Keesecker Appliance, if Nancy was working, she would always wave.
In fact, many times she would wave me into the building to say “Hello” and see how I was doing. We would share news of goings on in town. Nancy was part of the Keesecker store’s tradition of family friendliness. She always had a smile and an outgoing personality.
As I think back, I remember many times that we would end up laughing. Nancy had a distinct laughter that would lift your spirit. I always felt uplifted after a brief visit with her.
Nancy was a tremendous asset to the Unicoi County School System. She stayed active for years on the school board and offered her valuable input on many decisions in a time of growth and change.
Her obituary read “She served on the Unicoi County School Board from 1988 to 2004 where she earned the Master School Board Member, level 5 member, and all Tennessee State Board awards. She was a Representative for the Tennessee Legislative network, served as the Unicoi County PTA Council Chair, and was a passionate advocate for public education.”
Nancy was a woman who gave all of herself whether it was work, the community, her church or her family.
She was an amazing cook. I still have a keepsake cookbook that she signed for me years ago. We had the privilege of designing and printing a cookbook for her at The Erwin Record. Fellow employee Edna Dempke and I were so excited to read over each recipe she submitted. She had brought us samples for years.
Every Christmas and even other times of the year, Nancy would come with a big container of goodies. It would include a variety of tempting sweets made with love. She delighted in sharing her favorite recipes with those she cared for. We were fortunate enough to be on that list.
I was always afraid that I wouldn’t get at least one of everything. I sure couldn’t make a decision on which of the many items to pick from. I think Nancy realized that, so she would always include a hearty portion. All she would ask for was her container back. We could usually deliver that back in a hurry since the goodies didn’t last long.
As Nancy’s health declined and her demands were needed in other areas, she slacked off some on her cooking. She had been involved in so much for so long that it had to take its toll on her. The loss of several family members and selling the family store had also brought changes and new chapters to Nancy’s life.
One thing that always brought a smile to her face and that familiar liveliness was talking about her grandchildren. She was so proud of her grandchildren. While at the store, framed photos were displayed and she was always eager to share stories of their accomplishments and involvement.
Many times she would call me up at The Erwin Record and talk for awhile and eventually get around to telling me she needed some reprints of her granddaughter that had been in the paper and would I take care of it. I was always happy to and grateful for the chance to chat and catch up.
Nancy had told me many times that she was proud of me and my accomplishments with the paper and that I had deserved this job. Her compliments meant a lot to me but her friendship and support meant so much more.
I know she will be greatly missed by her family and the community. She was a leader and one that the county can thank for many years of selfless service. I will miss you my friend.