NANCY EBERSOLE GREEN
Nancy Green was born on April 18, 1928, in Dallas, Texas, the daughter of Polly and Gene Ebersole. After a long and adventurous life, she died on Feb. 6, 2020, at the James L. West Center for Dementia Care in Fort Worth, Texas, just a few weeks shy of her 92nd birthday.
Nancy’s early life was marked by a series of moves across our great State, from Dallas to Fort Worth to Galveston, and finally to Houston where she graduated from Lamar High School in 1945. She then attended the University of Texas in Austin, where she pledged Kappa Kappa Gamma and majored in Home Economics.
While at UT, she met a dashing war hero from North Texas named James R. “Bob” Green. Bob was obviously totally infatuated, but Nancy decided to play hard-to-get. It was only when Bob changed his business major to Home Economics, and enrolled in most of Nancy’s cooking classes, that he was able to win her over. A wedding was planned.
The wedding came off in grand style (1948) in Houston, thanks to Polly and Gene. A romantic honeymoon followed in Havana, Cuba.
Now the couple faced a major problem. Nancy was a dyed-in-the-wool city girl, and was being relocated to a rural setting then considered the outer reaches of Texas civilization. The closest town was Albany, 13 miles distant. Polly referred to Nancy’s new location as “that wild, dusty old ranch.”
Their honeymoon cottage was actually a “line shack,” which was a primitive structure to accommodate wayfaring cowboys working large ranches. She barely knew how to boil water, and was setting up house with her new husband, along with hosts of less welcome guests, such as skunks, rattlers, scorpions, coyotes, etc.
Bob hastily installed a phone line from Albany, tacking phone wires to trees and fence posts. It seldom worked, but was a security blanket of sorts. Bob also erected an Aermotor windmill on a nearby pond to provide running water to the shack.
Adjacent to the house, Bob maintained a large barn and corrals with a menagerie of milk cows, horses, pigs, chickens, geese, guineas, and peacocks, along with whatever other animals showed up or were dropped off anonymously. All these animals required her active attention, at least before the children started arriving. She never became a fan of milking cows or slopping hogs, and later burned this barn, claiming it was an accident.
Nancy threw herself into the numerous challenges confronting her, and remade herself into a dedicated ranch wife. The children began arriving, and she raised Nancy Kate, then Rob, and, a few years later, Mariana.
She was a supporter of her children, and was an ardent volunteer in the various parent organizations associated with the Albany public schools. The rough road to Albany, which she traveled daily, was a tire destroyer, and she claimed to be able to change a flat in ten minutes!
Nancy taught herself to cook, and loved hosting dinner parties and social events. Having never graduated from college, she dusted off her textbooks in the late 60s and graduated from Hardin Simmons University in Abilene.
She noticed and took under her wing a talented young ranch employee, Roberto Rodriguez, teaching him English and shepherding his naturalization as a citizen. She participated in numerous educational and civic activities in Albany, and served as chairman of the board of the Old Jail Art Center in Albany for several years. She was a lifelong member of the Matthews Memorial Presbyterian Church, serving the church in various capacities.
After more than 60 years of marriage, Nancy became a widow in 2009, and was faced with the prospect of living alone on the ranch. She persisted for several years with the help of Roberto. When she moved into her home in Albany, she was determined to live independently for as long as possible, and Roberto assisted her as she moved into her golden years.
Her dementia began to appear in her late 80’s, and she told her children, “I know I am losing my marbles, and I don’t like it one bit!” She moved into the James L. West Center in late 2018, where she became known as “Fancy Nancy.” The family recognizes and appreciates the fine care that she received at the West Center from Theresa Clarkin and her staff.
Nancy was predeceased by her parents, Polly and Gene Ebersole, as well as her only sibling, Ritchie Ebersole, all from Houston. Nancy lost her husband, Bob, in 2009, and a grandson, James Green, III, in 2011. In 2016, her daughter, Nancy Hargrove, died of lupus complications. In 2019 she lost her other daughter, Mariana, to cancer.
Nancy is survived by her son, Rob, and his wife Susie, and five grandchildren: Sarena Wright and husband Brad, Rob Hargrove and wife, Robyn, Reg Hargrove and wife Anna, Katherine Allen and husband Ryan, and Bennett Lane, as well as 11 great grandchildren.
Nancy was a stalwart supporter of her family and friends, and handled life’s problems and challenges with grace and aplomb.
Nancy will be buried in a private service at the family cemetery in Stephens County, followed by a public service at Matthews Memorial Presbyterian Church in Albany at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, with Anthony Ceder presiding. A reception and lunch will be held at the Church following the service.
Suggested memorial donees include the Matthews Memorial Presbyterian Church (Albany), the Old Jail Art Center (Albany), and the James L. West Center for Dementia Care in Fort Worth. PD