Nancy Gene Wallace

Wallace—Nancy Gene Wallace, 69, on March 31, 2020, at home in Chicago, Ill., from lung cancer. Nancy was born to Witt and Roxie (Evans) Wallace in Evanston, Ill., on July 30, 1950, the fourth of five children. Following high school, she briefly attended Lake Forest College and the University of Illinois before moving to Las Vegas, Nev., where she spent several years as a croupier. Nancy returned to college, earning a master’s in liberal studies from St. John’s College (a Great Books school in Santa Fe, N.M.) in 1983, and a master’s in accounting from DePaul University in Chicago in 1987.

Nancy became a certified public accountant in 1988, and was hired by Shimer College (another Great Books school) in Naperville, Ill., to serve as financial controller and faculty member. There she met David Shiner, a fellow faculty member who served as her colleague and mentor for two years. They married in the summer of 1993. Nancy said marrying David was the best decision she ever made. After leaving Shimer, she served as controller of a national organization, then spent 16 years as a consultant to nonprofit organizations until her retirement in 2018.

Nancy and David began attending Lake Forest (Ill.) Meeting in September 1993. They each became convinced Friends, David becoming a member in 1995 and Nancy in 1998. They moved to Chicago in 2010 and transferred their memberships to Evanston (Ill.) Meeting. Nancy and David were always generous with committee service.

Both Nancy and David made commitments to the wider world of Friends, including Illinois Yearly Meeting (ILYM). In 2002, Nancy became ILYM’s representative to Friends World Committee for Consultation (FWCC), a position she held until her death. She served as clerk of the International Finance Committee and held other FWCC positions for many years. She and David attended world gatherings of Friends in New Zealand (2004), Ireland (2007), and Peru (2016). At the time of her death, Nancy was serving on the Religious Education Committee of Evanston Meeting, the Personnel Committee of ILYM, and as assistant treasurer of FWCC Section of the Americas following four years as treasurer.

Over the years, Nancy and David hosted some 15 international exchange students from Europe, Asia, and South America. They remained in touch with the students over the years. Several hoped to fly back to tell Nancy how much she had meant to them, but the coronavirus pandemic made that impossible. Artistic creations from those students and other friends, as well as items from their international travels, delighted Nancy and filled their ever-welcoming home.

Nancy was active in gardening groups, environmental groups, book groups, and other special interest groups. She brought her commitment to Quaker values and principles to each of those endeavors. Nancy had endless hunger for learning. She was determined to master Spanish, taking online lessons until the week prior to her death.

Many will miss Nancy for the things she did, but more so for who she was as she did them. She was always there for people who needed her. She had the gift of speaking with loving directness when situations warranted. She was enthusiastic, witty, and had an infectious laugh.

Nancy was at home in the world, whether sitting on the floor at a gathering or moving through the difficult stages of her cancer treatment. Once doctors had done all they could, she accepted the truth of her situation and turned her attention to caring for David, as he cared for her.

Nancy was loved and respected by all whose paths were blessed to walk along hers for a time.  She is survived by her beloved husband, David Shiner.

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