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Nancy H. Watling
January 7, 1925 - January 26, 2012
Nancy 1

The daughter of Erma A. Hollingsworth and Eli M. Hasler, Nancy was born in Springfield, Missouri. She died early Thursday morning at Emanuel Medical Center in Turlock.

She graduated with honors from Drury College in 1946, having majored in Home Economics, and serving as Departmental Assistant. She was President of her sorority, Zeta Tau Alpha, and a member of the women's honor society, SKIFF. Nancy was first employed in the business office of the Bell Telephone Company, but her interest in music shortly led her to a career in education-first as a junior high school teacher, later a mix of college level and high school assignments. She taught at Grace Davis High School in Modesto for over twenty years. When she retired, in 1990, she held the position of Fine Arts Chairman. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she served as principal flute in the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. Nancy and the late Faye Gartin were responsible for the organization and development of the Modesto Symphony Youth Orchestra in the mid-1970s.

A long-time member of the National Association for Music Education, (MENC), Nancy was also interested in international music education and became an active member of the International Society for Music Education (ISME). She presented research papers at ISME conferences in Salzburg and Tokyo. With the strong support of colleagues in New Jersey, New York, Colorado and in Ohio, she reinstituted the National High School Honors Orchestra. One hundred fifty students (at least two from every state) were chosen to perform for the biennial MENC conferences. She served as Executive Director of the Honors Orchestra for over ten years and-like the other music teachers who helped manage the program-did it voluntarily. She was fondly referred to by her staff as "Mother Superior." Nancy and the orchestra were especially proud to perform for ISME in Helsinki, Finland, in 1990.

Nancy's leadership in the Methodist church culminated in her election as President of the California/Nevada Conference United Methodist Women. She served two terms in that office. Deeply committed to the idea of mission-and the importance of support for national and international concerns-Nancy was a long-time member of MFSA-the Methodist Federation for Social Action-and worked diligently to encourage financial support for UMCOR-the United Methodist Committee on Relief.
She enjoyed membership in the Turlock Tuesday Reading Club, supported the Community Concert Association, and loved attending the summer performance series at the Santa Fe Opera, Aspen Music Festival and Carmel Bach Festival. She was a 63-year member of P.E.O.

Nancy is survived by her husband of 64 years, Tom, and their three children: Susanna (Robert Verkuyl), Tom, Jr. (Diane), and Jack (Denice). There are three grandchildren: Jaclyn, Matthew, and Haley.
The family is most appreciative of the care and compassion of the Emanuel nursing staff, for the love and support of her caregiver, Maria Gonsalves, and the dedication of her physicians, Dr. Mark Davenport and Dr. Lin Ma.

A funeral service is planned for 10:30 am, Tuesday, Jan. 31, at the First United Methodist Church, 1660 Arbor Way, in Turlock. Burial will take place at a later date in Springfield, Missouri. Suggested memorials would include Emanuel Medical Center, UMW (United Methodist Women)-in care of the Turlock Methodist Church, or some favorite charity.

On-line condolences can be made at

Turlock Journal
Saturday, January 28, 2012