Nancianne Randall of Vergennes, VT passed away on December 14th, 2020 at the McClure Miller Respite House with her daughter Courtney Lynn Randall by her side after suffering complications related to a significant stroke she suffered in early October.
Nanci is survived by her Mother Lois Randall of Vergennes, VT, her daughter Courtney Lynn Randall and son-in-law Joshua Lee Mercier of Portsmouth, VA, her Sister Linda Verretta and husband Jim Verretta of Westminster, CO, their two sons Jeffrey and Jason as well as Jason’s Wife Sarah and their children, many nieces and nephews and her brother Larry Randall of Medina, NY. She is predeceased by her Father Lawrence Randall and brothers Michael Randall and Jonathan Randall.
Nanci was born in Brattleboro, VT on September 28, 1955 to Lois and Lawrence Randall. She grew up in Northfield, MA with her parents and four siblings and later moved to Vermont in 1980 when her parents purchased a dairy farm in Bridport, VT. In 1984 she married Foster Nye of Charlotte, VT in a small ceremony on the top of beautiful Mt. Philo in Charlotte, VT overlooking Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains. They moved to Thompsons Point in Charlotte, VT where they lived for 13 years working as caretakers for the many summer homes on the peninsula. They later divorced in 2004 and Nanci chose to remain in Vergennes, VT in the small home they had purchased on South Maple Street near her parents so she could keep a watchful eye on them and later care for them as they grew older. Nanci worked in the gift shop at the University of Vermont Medical Center for over 16 years until it was closed this past spring. She thoroughly enjoyed her interactions with patients, their families and the many staff members with whom she had developed friendships over the years. When our years of employment at UVMMC overlapped I would often wander down to the giftshop to visit, drifting into the background when it became busy watching my Mother smile and laugh while she chatted with customers. From a distance you could never tell if the person she was interacting with was a stranger or someone she had known for many years and I realized it was because she treated everyone she encountered as if they were an old friend. When she laughed her shoulders would bob up and down just a little bit and I always thought it was because she lived and laughed with her whole entire heart. Nanci appreciated the beauty in everything, recognizing each day as a gift after she narrowly survived a ruptured ascending aortic aneurysm in her 30’s followed by numerous additional complex heart surgeries. She taught me to value these moments as well. Whether it was a lingering sunset, simply watching the birds at the birdfeeder while enjoying the first morning cup of coffee or petting the dog in a warm sunny spot. As a child I remember going to watch the fields full of snow geese in the fall and Canadian geese in the spring and she would look at me and remark on the change of season as we looked out on a sea of geese as far as the eye could see. My Mother was an artist, although she would never presume to take such a title. She enjoyed works in all mediums, often planning trips to gallery exhibits, fiber fests and glass blowing studios. Nanci could knit, crochet and quilt beautiful and original pieces which I often encouraged her to consider selling but she always laughed and declined stating her pieces were not good enough to sell- an opinion I always strongly disagreed with. She would take old furniture that no one could see a future in (other than perhaps the nearest dumpster), and she would redesign, refinish and paint them making them unrecognizable. She taught herself how to cane so she could replace the seats in the antique chairs she would find randomly on the side of the road or at garage sales and bring home to refinish and make beautiful once again. She taught me you don’t have to love something, or even like it, to still be able to appreciate it’s worth and potential- a lesson which has served me well in life. She loved to travel, often going to Denver to visit my Aunt Linda and family, where my Aunt would take her to the theater, to see the ballet, visit museums and galleries or travel to further places like Wyoming and Montana. I will forever be grateful to my Aunt Linda for making those experiences and memories possible for her, as my Mother spoke of them often and they clearly meant a great deal to her. She loved her weekend trips to Manlius, New York where she visited with her best friends Pat and Bill Gottschall, Shirley Helig, Sue Manley as well as many other individuals she had come to know. She so enjoyed these visits, whether it was to attend a Hot Air Balloon festival (ballooning was a favorite past time of hers), going to a Fiber Festival and picking out a few skeins of Alpaca yarn or going to the Farmers Market to get supplies to make a batch of Pat’s “Garden Surprise”. Despite the physical distance between us my Mother was my strength, my motivation and my best friend. We would spend hours on the phone sometimes, while I told her every funny thing I could think of just to hear her laugh- she had such a beautiful laugh. She supported me in every possible way throughout my life but especially these past few years as I attended Nursing school. I am sad she will not be here to see me graduate this spring, and that I will be unable to do all the things I had planned for once I am done school. I had hoped to be able to give her all the things in life she truly deserved but went without, but most of all I wanted to make her proud. My Mother always put everyone else ahead of herself. She cared for my Grandfather until he passed and until she fell ill in October, she was taking care of my Grandmother Lois as well. I had hoped and planned to take care of her, traveling to the many places she had yet to see and spending time together as we hadn’t seen each other very much since I moved to Virginia. She always told me, when I grew upset or sad that I hadn’t been able to make it home for a visit, “No regrets, watching you build a life and be happy is what makes your Grandparents and I happy.” Her last days were spent at the McClure Miller Respite House where she received excellent care from their staff and volunteers. I can’t thank them enough for giving us that brief time together and making her transition as comfortable as they possibly could. The McClure Miller Respite House never turns anyone away in need of their services, regardless of their ability to pay. For this reason, we ask that any donations in Nancianne Randall’s memory be sent to the McClure Miller Respite House to go towards allowing other families like ours to receive the same caring and heartfelt support- regardless of their ability to pay. The day my Mother had her stroke I received a box in the mail of homemade cider donuts from a local apple orchard she had overnighted to me to cheer me up. She spent more to mail them than she did on the actual donuts, but that was the kind of person that my Mom was. She will be missed greatly, her loss felt by many, but I hope that she is never forgotten and that the memories you have of her continue to bring a smile to your face- that is what she would have wanted.
A celebration of life will be held in June when the weather is better at a date and location to be determined. If you are interested in attending please email Courtney at CourtneyinVT@gmail.com to be notified once a date and location have been finalized. We invite all that knew Nanci to come and share a few hours with us to remember her and celebrate the truly special person that she was.