Cover photo for Rev. Nancy T. Heimer's Obituary
1931 Nancy Heimer 2024

Rev. Nancy T. Heimer

March 27, 1931 — May 16, 2024

Madison

Reverend Nancy T. Heimer, was born March 27, 1931 to Lucille Osgood Townley-Tilson and W.H. Dermot Townley-Tilson in Winchester, Massachusetts. She died May 16, 2024 at home with her loving family. 

New England and her family legacy were important to Nancy.  As she aged, she often hearkened back to days in Winchester, the farm in Maine and, most endearingly, to the cottage and Melvin Bay Camp on Lake Winnipesaukee.  A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she felt called to ministry a year after graduating.  She found her theological home in the Disciples of Christ Christian Church and attended Lexington Theological Seminary, where she met her partner in life and faith--husband Roger Heimer. 

In ensuing years, they moved to Scranton, Pennsylvania, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Louisville, Kentucky. Nancy became involved with the Christian Women’s Fellowship, even as she became legally blind in 1970 at the age of 39. She completed her seminary degree at Louisville Presbyterian Seminary in 1975. After her ordination at Douglass Boulevard Christian Church in Louisville, the family moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where Nancy worked as Director of Women’s Leadership at the Christian Church DOC denominational headquarters, Department of Church Women. 

Despite dramatically limited vision, she travelled the US and the world, offering workshops on women’s leadership. She was part of an inter-denominational delegation to visit churches in Russia and Egypt, Woman to Woman Worldwide. Everywhere she went, Nancy communicated an unwavering vision of a loving Creator and the equally empowered partnership of all humans in the community of Christian-spirited work and life. She viewed women as bringing key gifts to the spiritual life and was known for sharing this message with wit, care, and incisive scholarship. Nancy believed that learning to live in relationship was a key task of this life.  She centered this love in all that she did.

She and Roger completed their full-time ministry in London England, living there for five years as visiting ministers with the Congregational Church. Upon return, Nancy co-wrote, with her colleagues Fran Craddock and Martha Faw, In the Fullness of Time: A History of Women in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), published in 1999She and Roger continued to serve at First Christian Church in Bloomington, Indiana where they retired, fulfilling roles in worship leadership, community and committee work, and Sunday study classes. They also shared a love of classical music, travel, word puzzles, and, most deeply, family. 

Roger and Nancy moved to a nearby retirement community, Meadowood, where they enjoyed activities and friends, both new and old.   Roger died in 2019 and Nancy continued living independently for a year until moving to be with her daughter Lucy and family, in Madison Wisconsin during the COVID pandemic.  There she remained—still insightful and inspirational, with wit and humour--until her death. 

Nancy deeply loved and was loved by her family and lifelong friends.  She brought creativity and optimism suggesting all things are possible.  Nancy is survived by her brother W.H. Dale Townley-Tilson of Concord, NH (nephew Davin), her children Lucinda (Chris Sherrill), Andrew (Mary Stonebraker Heimer), and Julia Heimer Dadds (Mark Beebe); grandchildren Grace and Amalia Heimer Sherrill, Emily Heimer Trikich (Cedo), Alexander (Terrin), Abby, and Austin Heimer; Keenan, Noah, and Corey Dadds; and great-grandchildren Alana and Koa, and Nemanja. 

The family thanks her loving caregivers, offering compassion and care, conversation and laughter.  The staff at Agrace Hospice provided wise insight and timely support especially, Toni Groenier.  Over the last three years these extended family members enriched our lives.

A burial service will take place at Wildwood Cemetery in Winchester, MA July 29, 2024 at 1:00 p.m. (ET). Appetizers and beverages to follow at The Stones, 380 Main St, Stoneham, MA. A celebration of life will be held at First Christian Church, 205 E Kirkwood, Bloomington, IN 47408 on October 11, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. (CT). The October service will also be livestreamed.

Please share a memory of Nancy by posting in her Guestbook on this site. 

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Monday, July 29, 2024

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Friday, October 11, 2024

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