Nancy Lee Haines Steward, 73, died April 8, 2019, at Wesley Acres in Des Moines, IA.
Nancy was born December 20, 1945 to George and Greta (Graham) Haines, in Charleston, SC. She graduated from Cedar Rapids, Washington High School. She attended the University of Iowa where she received a BA in music education. She met her husband of nearly 50 years, Bill, at the University of Iowa Wesley Foundation, where she was a student leader. They married in 1969 on her family's farm in Cedar Rapids with her four younger sisters acting as bridesmaids and flower girl. She continued her formal education at Columbia University in New York City, where she received a Master's in Music Education.
While supporting her husband's career as a Methodist minister by moving to new appointments, directing the church choir, the bell choir and teaching Sunday School, she also developed a strong and independent lifestyle by pursuing her own interests and passions: playing violin in a number of community orchestras, gardening, watching MSNBC, classic movies, and vintage episodes of Perry Mason and Law and Order. She taught Parkinson's Delay the Disease classes, water aerobics and Jazzercises classes. She cared about social justice and making the world a better place by helping people register to vote, picking up absentee ballots, giving impassioned speeches at Democratic county conventions, and supporting a large number of charitable organizations. Her career path included teaching orchestra, computer programming and tax preparation.
Nancy loved to share stories and experiences with others. Family and friends could always anticipate long conversations while Nancy listened with an empathetic ear.
Nancy is survived by her children Sarah Steward (Jeff) and Joshua Steward (Emily); grandchildren Talia and Blaine; sisters and brother, Maryhelen (Ray), Gail Sarff, Beverly Twitchell (Joe), Bill Haines (Jeanette), and Brenda Haines. She was preceded in death by her parents George and Greta and husband Bill.
The Visitation and funeral service will take place on Saturday, April 13, 2019 at Grace United Methodist Church (3700 Cottage Grove, Des Moines, IA). Visitation will take place from 10:30-11:00am, funeral service at 11am, and burial of ashes immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the Iowa Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association or the Wesley Acres Good Samaritan Fund.
"Nancy was/is a truly kind and giving person. She supported women. I know this because she supported me! About 4 yrs ago I was looking to grow my business. I am also passionate about green cleaning. Nancy organized and invited me to come to Wesley Acres and do a talk about green cleaning to the residents there. It was fun. I will ALWAYS remember Nancy as a beautiful, strong woman. Rest in Peace great Lady "