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Wednesday, January 4, 2023
1:00 - 2:00pm (Mountain time)
Nancy Jane Van Pelt passed away on November 23, 2022 at the age of 75 in Phoenix, Arizona. She will be greatly missed as a loving wife, mother, and grandmother, a dedicated sister, a consummate professional, and an amazing friend. The world was blessed by Nancy's bright smile, giving heart, and creative ideas.
Nancy was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, the oldest of four siblings. From an early age, Nancy demonstrated her curiosity, intelligence and outgoing personality. Raised with a strong sense of responsibility and work ethic, Nancy excelled in school, made lifelong friends, and found ways to constantly improve herself.
After graduating from Brush High in Lyndhurst, Ohio, Nancy attended Kent State University graduating with a degree in Education. She began her career in the Akron Schools teaching English in Junior and senior high Nancy married Joseph Van Pelt and her family grew with the births of JoEllen and Michael. In 1976, the Van Pelt's relocated to Glendale, Arizona seeking new opportunities and adventures for the family. Nancy was an attentive and nurturing mother, fully involved in her children's upbringing and affording them the support and opportunities they needed to become successful adults. During this phase of life, she was an active volunteer at her children's school, helped her husband build his business, and took personal interest classes in Art History and Spanish at the community college. Nancy never missed an opportunity to grow her skills and knowledge.
Nancy returned to the classroom in 1985, teaching high school English at Deer Valley High School. She was much loved by her students and fellow faculty. She was a supporter of, and participant in, the theatre program, founded the schools first SADD chapter, and was a sponsor of the Class of 1988 for all four years of their High School where she was chair of the English department and helped plan the Student Meditation program.
Her skills and passion for conflict resolution led her to a new career path and she left teaching to work for the City of Phoenix. After working for the Meditation Department, Nancy continued her work with the city in human resources, specializing in Supervisory, Management, and Leadership Development. She continued to add tools to her toolbox, including a master's degree from Northern Arizona University in Human Relations along with many professional certifications. Her love of learning led her to join a stock trading club, her entreprenuerial spirit led her to invest in several rental properties in Arizona, and eventually two vacation homes in Rocky Point.
In 1994, Nancy founded Current Training and Consulting and eventually left her position at the City of Phoenix. As an independent Consultant she excelled at helping organizations fulfill their missions. She was very proud that she never had to "market" her business and yet stayed constantly busy and in demand.
Nancy met Tom Hutchinson in 1994 and their connection was immediate. They saw the goodness in each other and the potential for a mutually supportive, long-term relationship. They shared many common interests and complementary personalities, and their relationship flourished. She fully embraced stepsons Tom and Chris and had a positive and profound impact on their lives. Their life together was exciting with non-stop service and social activities, professional development, and family fun. They supported each other in their careers and civic endeavors and shared a passion for giving back to the community. Nancy and Tom spent most of their time between the Valley, Rocky Point, later Prescott, enjoying travelling to visit friends and family. They were married in Maui in 2005, during one of their many world travels. Nancy's love of international travel took her to many places including, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Greece, France and Italy. Her favorite international destination was Mexico, taking cruises and sightseeing trips to both coasts and the interior. She loved spending time at the beach, particularly in Rocky Point where she made incredible friends and created many family memories. Her love of the Spanish Language was deepened by the immersion classes she took in both Rocky Point and Cuernavaca.
Nancy became a grandmother for the first time in 2002 and embraced the role as she did all others in her life-with passion and commitment. She actively participated in her grandchildren's lives and showered them with love and support. As their "Grammy" she always had special treats and activities for them, but more importantly, she gave of her time and attention.
Nancy was active in service, community, and leadership organizations throughout her life including Soroptimist International, Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, Tempe Leadership, International Association of Facilitators, Leadership 2000, Arizona Organizational Development Network, and the National Association of Women Business Owners. She also was a generous financial supporter of various charities and non-profits.
In 2009 she joined the Rotary Club of Glendale West and contributed her boundless energy, talent, and resources at all levels of Rotary International becoming District Governor (D5495) in 2017-2018. She skillfully facilitated the merger of two Districts into one, a major accomplishment. After her term as District Governor, Nancy remained a leader, making many friends, and becomming a champion and activist for peace and conflict prevention locally and internationally. She atended many Rotary USA-Mexico Friendship conferences, organizing and participating in numerous service projects throughout Mexico and Arizona. She expressed how blessed she felt to be able to journey to Mexico serval times with Rotary for wheelchair and polio drop distribution trips.
Nancy received many awards and accolades, but it wasn't what drove her. She was fueled by a sincere desire for continuous improvement, spreading peace and understanding, and spending time with people she cared about and on projects that she was passionate about.
Nancy is survived by her husband Tom Hutchinson, daughter JoEllen Johnson (Sam), son Michael Van Pelt (Lisa), stepsons: Tom and Chris Hutchinson and six grandchildren: Morgan, Sydney, Adam, Ian, Makenna, and Finn. Nancy is preceded in death by her parents Verner and Mary Mock and her brother Verner Mock. She is survived by sisters: Patricia Van Valer, Marilyn Halle (Albert), and sister-in-law Julie Mock, as well as many nieces and nephews, all of who loved and admired Nancy.
A celebration of life will be held on Wednesday, January 4, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. at the Shadow Rock Church of Christ located at 12861 North 8th Avenue, Phoenix, Arizona 85029 with a gathering following at Smith Hall.
Nancy made special connections everywhere she went. Empowering people and organizations and helping people in need among Nancy's priorities. In lieu of flowers , Memorial and Tribute donations may be made to the Rotary Foundation at www.rotary.org/en/donate in the Peace Building and Conflict Prevention area of focus, to a New Leaf at www.anewleaf.org or to Hospice of the Valley www.hov.org