Our loving mom, grandma (“Gaga”), friend, and painting lady, Nancy Evelyn Davis Collier graduated from this life March 20, 2024, in Salt Lake City, Utah. She was surrounded by loved ones, including her daughter, Sharyn Collier Myers; son-in-law, Roger Myers; grand-daughters, Emily English and Abigail Bryson, and grandsons, Joshua Ogden and Benjamin Ogden.

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Nancy was born September 11, 1938 to Arthur William Davis and Marjorie Hackbarth Tallman Davis, with an older sister, the late Eunice Jean Davis Van Anglen (d. 1987). She spent her childhood in Nutley, New Jersey surrounded by family, friends, and lots and lots of music and laughter. Every member of her family was musical, and they would stand around the piano singing and laughing or sing to a ukulele in the car as they drove to their family cabin in Silver Lake, NJ. Nancy grew up playing the piano (by ear), the violin, and the glockenspiel. (Later in life she taught thousands of students how to play the piano) Nancy’s mom was a nurse and her father a fire chief—service and caring for others was instilled in her from birth. She lived her life that way—giving service and loving others.

Nancy graduated from Nutley High School in 1956. She attended Bethany College in West Virginia, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in education with a minor in music and art. She was part of Phi Mu sorority where she was active in service and vocal performance. After college, Nancy taught visually handicapped children with multiple disabilities, and art and music for every grade for many years in Georgia and New Jersey. One summer she took her blind students and her terminally ill mother to the circus in NYC! She was incredibly brave. They had the best time! There was nothing she wouldn't try. If it couldn't be done--she would prove you wrong and do it!

During college she became acquainted with missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They were staying at the boarding house where she lived. She knew of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and always wanted to sing with them and asked the missionaries question after question. They came home one day and she bounded out of the door and told them she wanted to be baptized! They fell off the front porch. She was baptized in 1961 after she graduated college. Nancy met and married Donald Collier, from Iowa, in 1963. They sang together in many shows, sang duets at weddings, and worked on getting Don's singing career off the ground. After years of infertility, their daughter, Sharyn, was born in 1968 while Don was on tour. In 1972 Don decided show business was his life, and the two divorced. Nancy and Sharyn began their life-- just the two of them for the next several decades. They have had many, many adventures including Nancy teaching Sharyn's 8th grade algebra class, traveling by train across Europe, and moving several times across country. Nancy's other adventures included performing with the USO across Europe; singing in multiple broadway shows, including South Pacific and My Fair Lady, and arranging music for the singing groups she directed. She had such a talent for music (actually anything)! This included playing the piano by ear and having perfect pitch!

Nancy served in various positions in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but especially loved playing the piano in primary. She served as seminary teacher, stake missionary, church teacher, in Primary and Relief Society stake leadership, and as girl’s camp craft leader. Nancy was involved in choir or church music most of her life. She was always willing to sing, play the piano, or speak at a moments notice. Nancy held strong to her faith in God and Jesus Christ. Her testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ was strong as was her desire to share that testimony with everyone around her. She would talk to the grocer or flight attendant, or person she passed on the street if she felt they would listen to her. During her life she was responsible for thousands of people learning about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In 1976, when Nancy's mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer, she brought her into her home and took care of her until she passed away in March of 1977. She saw the miracle of creativity in her mom’s fight with cancer. That clarity became the seed "Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to." Miracle on 34th Street of a business to which she would dedicate her life.

In 1984, Nancy created a non-profit organization in Connecticut to care for the sick and injured by bringing the creative arts to them. New Outlook came to Utah and continued in Pennsylvania over the years. She painted, laughed, and sang with people who were home-bound due to cancer or other terminal illness, people in rehabilitation centers, bone marrow transplant departments, and head trauma centers, and those recovering from heart-attack, stroke, organ transplants, or serious accidents. She gave them a “new outlook” on life and helped them to find a renewed will to live. She was instrumental in caring for thousands upon thousands of wonderful people who also deeply touched her life. Because of her business, Nancy was invited to become a member of the Lioness Club in Pennsylvania. She continued to devote her time to service in the community.

Nancy wrote two books, one called "Don't Get Me to Paint" about her experiences with New Outlook. She saw many miracles take place because of her service. other "Cozy Isn't Being Alone" about her experience with her mom. She has also written and illustrated many children's book (inspired by her grandchildren) that have been published.

Nancy lectured at BYU Education Week in Provo, Utah for over a decade on Humor and Healing. It was a highlight of her life, as she loved to talk and share humor and her talents with others. She spent her life serving and caring for others. And being funny. She loved to play a joke on someone and make others smile. She loved to serve others and found joy in talking with anyone.

She truly found joy in being a mom and grandma. Her grandchildren were the sparkle in her eye. They called her "gaga" and loved to have creative arts day camp in the summer, or build a tree house in her back yard, or have corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick's Day each year. She taught each of them how to play the piano and how to water color paint. She was excited to be a great-grandma and also taught her great grandson to paint!

We will miss her quick wit, and ability to help anyone find their creative selves. We are grateful for her love, example of faith, and her desire to serve-and for her never ending love.

To view her funeral: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88520739753?pwd=M3QwSE9HODJZa2JWN3Z1UVRSWkRJZz09

Passcode: 032275

Services

Celebration of Life

Friday, Mar. 29, 2024 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
304 E. 2700 S
Salt Lake City, UT 84106

Family

  • Survived By
  • Sharyn Myers, Daughter
  • Roger Myers, Son-in-Law
  • Emily English, Granddaughter
  • Joshua Ogden, Grandson
  • Abigail Bryson, Granddaughter
  • Benjamin Ogden, Grandson
  • William Myers, Grandson
  • Cody Myers, Grandson
  • Kalee Myers, Granddaughter
  • Nolan, Great Grandson
  • Bradley English, Grandson
  • Samuel Bryson, Grandson
  • Preceded in Death By
  • Eunice Jean Davis Van Anglen, Sister
  • Marjorie Tallman Davis, Mother
  • Arthur Davis, Father

Life Story Info

Author

Sharyn Myers

Post Date

Mar 25, 2024

Personal Info

Born

Glenside, New Jersey, United States

Died

Salt Lakt City, Utah, United States

Cause of Death

Brain Aneurysm

Age

85

Gender

Female

Religion and Beliefs

Latter-day Saint

Occupation

Humanitarian & Charitable Work

Worked For

  • New Outlook Associates

Education

  • Bachelor's
    Bethany College
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Guestbook

She was talented and good person. I know she will be terribly missed.

Nick Figueiredo , The Villages , FL, US Apr 04, 2024

She was talented and good person. I know she will be terribly missed.

Nick Figueiredo , The Villages , FL, US Apr 04, 2024

Sharyn,

What an amazing tribute!! We are so sorry for this temporary separation. We love you and are thinking of and praying for you and your family.

Jennifer and David Kite Mar 28, 2024

Heartfelt Condolences to Nancy's family. I loved visiting with Nancy and completely losing track of time swapping stories. She was truly gifted and shared her gifts abundantly.

Doug Johnson , Souderton, PA, US Mar 27, 2024

Continuing to think of you and your family at this sad time and keeping you in our prayers. Nancy was a bright spot in so many lives and we'll remember her fondly.

Lynn and Derek Wirth , Summerville, SC, US Mar 26, 2024

Continuing to think of you and your family at this sad time and keeping you in our prayers. Nancy was a bright spot in so many lives and we'll remember her fondly.

Lynn and Derek Wirth , Summerville, SC, US Mar 26, 2024

Continuing to think of you and your family at this sad time and keeping you in our prayers.

Lynn and Derek Wirth , Summerville, SC, US Mar 26, 2024

Continuing to think of you and your family at this sad time and keeping you in our prayers.

Lynn and Derek Wirth , Summerville, SC, US Mar 26, 2024

Continuing to think of you and your family at this sad time and keeping you in our prayers.

Lynn and Derek Wirth , Summerville, SC, US Mar 26, 2024

Continuing to think of you and your family at this sad time.

Lynn and Derek Wirth , Summerville, SC, US Mar 26, 2024

Continuing to think of you and your family at this sad time.

Lynn and Derek Wirth , Summerville, SC, US Mar 26, 2024

Continuing to think of you and your family at this sad time.

Lynn and Derek Wirth , Summerville, SC, US Mar 26, 2024

Continuing to think of you and your family at this sad time.

Lynn and Derek Wirth , Summerville, SC, US Mar 26, 2024

Our deepest sympathies to you all. We will remember Nancy fondly.

Joanne Terhune , Las Vegas, NV, US Mar 25, 2024

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