Nancy Marker Steinert
Nancy Marker Steinert

August 30, 2008, Nancy was taken to the hospitial for emergency surgery
due to a large brain mass. That was the beginning of what would become the most difficult struggle in Nancy's life. We hope you will take time to remember Nancy.

Nancy Marker Steinert, age 60 of Butler Township, passed away Thursday, February 5, 2009. Nan was born in Dayton, Ohio to Fred and Mary Jane Marker, graduated from Fairview High School, where she was active in class and alumni activities, and Miami Jacobs College, attended Sinclair Community College and Wright State University. Nan was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, George Steinert. Survived by her brother Mike Marker (Carol) of Cincinnati and nieces Lisa Mader (Doug) and Lora Domeck (Steve), also of Cincinnati, grand nephews Nathan and Alex Domeck, Trent and Caleb Mader and great niece Sydney Mader, an Uncle, Charles Goss and Aunt Ella Shepard and cousins Gwen Goss, Gretchen Hartung, Greg Goss and dear friends Kathy Roberts, Susan Kruskamp, Sandra Merriam, and many other friends.

A memorial service was held at One Lincoln Park Retirement Community in Kettering, Ohio on Saturday March 14, 2009. It was a wonderful celebration of Nan's life. Nancy had the loving care of family and friends with her during her long ordeal and during that time she showed all of us how to have strength and courage during difficult times. She kept loving us, kept caring about us and kept laughing. She wanted to be able to walk until the end and walk she did.
Nancy was happy when she could gather us together and she even continued do that. She continued to give to us and she will continue to give us more great memories in the years ahead every time we remember her and we will remember her often.
Nancy and '66 classmates having a great time in 2001. Cindy Ellison, Phyllis Teplitz, Jim McLefresh, Alice Nierenberg,
Nancy and '66 classmates having a great time in 2001. Cindy Ellison, Phyllis Teplitz, Jim McLefresh, Alice Nierenberg, Nancy Marker, PJ Shank and Leslie Bacon.

Nancy will be greatly missed by many people. She was the glue that held our class together. The following was written by classmate Tom Kender. We think it describes what we have difficulty saying. It first appeared on Tom's blog on Sunday February 8, 2009. He has given us permission to use it here.


This is hard to write.

The tears have stopped and now the memories begin to flood my mind. Nancy Marker Steinert was my friend. I didn't know her like most of you. Our relationship didn't begin in elementary school it began later in high school. But it flourished many years later, long after I had moved away from Dayton.

For years she had encouraged me to come to our class reunions. It seemed like I always had a schedule conflict, or had just recently made my 3 or 4 year pilgrimage to Dayton to visit family...or maybe I was unsure about seeing old friends.

I finally made it to the first of my reunions.... our 35th Reunion. I can remember going to the Holiday Inn in Englewood. Nancy met me at the door and immediately made me feel comfortable as I stumbled while trying to remember past classmates names.

She could remember every person, every event, every detail of my life at Fairview. Much better than I could. She was a who's who and where's where and what's what of everyone that I asked about. She had pictures and poetry and news clippings and was an encyclopedia of Fairview High School. It was her passion.

I can remember going over to her house while I was there for the reunion. I had never known George but in the few minutes we were there she told me about him and her love for him and her aching heart. I felt like he would have been my friend as well.

After the 35th, we continued to write back and forth always filling me in with details about my close friends. Always asking about my family....sending a note when my Mom had passed away...always keeping me close to Fairview.

When the 40th reunion was nearing she was adamant about me being there. With was not an option. She lovingly pestered me for my updated bio....making sure my flights were scheduled.....making sure my reservations were made. I remember the look on her face when I got to Dayton told her P.J. and I would be rooming together as if......."here we go again".

This past summer, my wife and I journeyed to Dayton for my brother Rick's wedding. I told Nancy of our planned visit and she arranged a luncheon with old friends, Bruce Trowman, Guy Kennedy, Susan Ritter, Dwight Woessner....that was Nancy. She was a friend's friend.

I know there is much more to Nancy than my small snapshot of her life but it is what I want to remember. It is my part of her.

I don't know what the next reunion will be like without Nancy...I think all of us are a little scared of the tears that will flow, it will be hard. There is no one who can replace her and I am fearful that without her we might drift away.

Selfishly, I wonder who will be my connection to my home.

I miss her. I'll always remember her. And when I think of Dayton and particularly Fairview High School I will always think of Nancy first.
Murray Horwitz couldn't make it to Nan's Memorial Service, but he shared his thoughts about Nancy in the copy below, and it was read at the service. Thank you Murray for sharing this with us. We were extremely lucky to have Nan in our lives and Murray expresses it well. Nan served as a wonderful gatherer of friends and classmates.

The word, “love,” is being used there a lot today – at least I hope it is.  For we all really did love Nancy, and she really did love us with a devotion that boggles the mind.  What did we do to be so lucky?
People are speaking there, I know, about what a wonderful person she was, and there’s nothing I could add to what’s already in our hearts.  She has left a giant hole, and we will never stop missing her.
What I want to say is not about who Nan was, but about what she was – what she believed in, what she embodied, and what – to a great extent – she gave her life to.  Like any great person, Nan had an idea, and she dedicated herself to it.  It is a big idea – and a noble one.  She was so charming and humble that she never called attention to it.  She just lived it.
It’s an idea that has been terribly out of fashion in the last few decades, yet she clung to it against the tide and against the odds.  But it’s an idea that’s starting to come back, and I’m happy that she lived long enough to see the tide turn in its favor.  It’s the idea that people need to stick together.
The idea rests on two indisputable beliefs: that people are the most important thing in life, and that we have more that binds us than separates us.  It’s shaped by the knowledge that we have to work hard to remind ourselves of how much we have in common – and that one of the things we have in common is that we have differences.
Nancy devoted the larger part of her too-big heart and her too-short life to this notion.  It’s not that we think we’re better than other people, God forbid (unless, of course, they went to Meadowdale).  It’s that we have something that can keep bringing us together over a very long time, and even if it’s as thoroughly unremarkable as 350 people just going to school together for four years, it’s precious, and worth maintaining and celebrating – no matter how much work it takes.
Because of her allegiance to that idea, something has grown among us – something like love (there’s that word again).  So it’s up to us to take up the work that Nancy did, because she was right.  It’s a great idea.  Come to think of it, it’s the best and most important idea in the world, and nobody gave more to it than Nancy.

Marc Jennings remembers Nancy with an important memory of her from just before high school and the way she impacted his life along with other thoughts about the way Nancy endeared herself to many during the years. Thank you Marc for generously sharing your memory of Nan.

MEMORIES OF NANCY by Marc Jennings

On a warm and bright June day in 1961, I walked to Fairview Elementary School to look at the place I would begin my 8th grade classes in the fall. It was a pretty scary prospect since just having moved, I knew no one. Behind the school was a small city park with a shelter. As I walked toward it a dark haired girl came up to me, said her name was Nancy Marker and asked me mine. I soon found out she had already befriended another transplant to the school, Forest Midlam. She intuitively knew we felt vulnerable as new kids. She spent a lot of time with Forest and I that summer, introduced us to most of our future classmates and when school started we felt at home.

When I think of Nancy I think of her curiosity and interest in other people. She seemed to have an irresistable urge to meet and know about others. It is hard to imagine the breadth of her friendships since she seemed to know everyone. And if Nancy was your friend, she cared about you with intensity.

I had the good fortune to know Nancy for many years. There is not space enough here to share all the memories I have of her, but it was Nancy who one day at school went up to Darlene Glaze and told her "Marc likes you". Although it took me some time to take advantage of Nancy's assist, Darlene and I have been happily married for 41 years. Thanks, Nancy.

We all owe Nancy a tremendous debt of gratitude. She worked with energy and determination, year after year to make sure we could learn about each other, keep track of who was where, know who was still living and who had passed on. And it was Nancy that made it possible for us to come together every so many years and enjoy each other once again. It wasn't easy. I recall her saying "this is the last one I'm doing" (it wasn't). I tried whenever I could to tell her how important her efforts were and to thank her.

Nancy was important to us, her FHS 66 classmates. But, we should all remember that we were important to her. She would not have done all that she did had that not been the case. Nancy treated everyone as though they were equally important, whether you were "cool", not so cool, or just thought you were cool. I think she loved us all and it is fitting and appropriate to dedicate our humble efforts to keep our classmates close, to the memory of Nancy.

RESPONSE TO MARC by Jeri Jones Bland
Marc — Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts!

Beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes and probably expresses my feelings better than anything I could say.

I was no longer connected to old friends or anything Fairview by the age of twenty five. It was gone.

Only a few people know that in 1997, Nancy wrote me a letter which meant so much to me that I still have it. In some respects, it probably changed my life. It was concerning my sister's recent death, Nancy's condolences and of course the fact that she hoped I would think about reconnecting with old friends and Fairview. Short time later we were talking on the phone and talked often ever since that — often for hours.

She encouraged me to go to the 50th Birthday Reunion in 1998. Which I did and of course Nancy was delighted that she had made me show up!! I felt exactly like the awkward new kid on the block. It was hard for me.

Nancy gave me herself which I grew to cherish and eventually I realized she also gave me my old friends back. She gave me Fairview and Dayton back — more importantly, the people. She tried to do this for all of the classmates.

She was keenly perceptive about what we needed.

Sandie Sturdivant and I are reconnected because of Nan and I aim to keep it that way. Nancy made a point of making sure it happened. Sandie and I both marvel what Nan gave to us.

I could cry when I think of what I had almost lost completely and am forever grateful to Nan and what she gave me. She gave me herself and so much more. It makes me feel foolish for almost losing so much.

During her illness Nancy continued to give and be concerned about everyone and kept trying to gather some of us together whenever she could. She mostly wanted to enjoy her time with her friends and wanted to laugh and have us laugh. Oh, there were emotional moments but they were brief.

Giving is what Nan did for a living.

You are so right — we were indeed what was important to her. She gave to us and cared for us.

Nancy truly did love us and it just keeps showing and growing. I miss her.

We are including here a portion of the original "Welcome" page letter created for this site. It was written with the kind and talented help of our classmate Tom Kender. The letter follows:

Fairview High School was no different from any other high school in Dayton, Ohio in the 1960s. It was simply made of brick and stone and glass. What was different though, were the friendships. The bonds that were forged by a chance meeting of students in a hallway, sharing a table at lunch or simply sitting behind the same person for fours year in a homeroom.

It was also different because of the dedication and inspiration of a classmate who would fulfill her destiny by creating a place where those friendships and memories that might have been forgotten, could be rekindled and brought back to life even after the wrinkles of time had changed our appearance.

 Nancy Marker Steinert sustained us with her passion for keeping the spirit of Fairview alive. Her dedication to the web site, her hours spent organizing our reunions, her compassion in sending a note when a loved one passed away symbolized the strength that we gained over the years as we regrouped to share our stories.

 Our hearts will always remember the time and dedication of Nancy, who instilled in us the importance of remembering what made us great, what made us strong.

It has taken a community to carry on the work needed to keep this legacy alive. And, we have found the core of that community starting with John Pichler, who initiated discussions about the future of our site. John quickly found other class members who were very interested in supporting the site that Nancy had managed over the years.

The lion's (or bulldog's) share of the web site management will be provided by Jeri Jones Bland, whose graphic art skills will add a personal touch to our pages; Sandie Sturdivant Merriam, whose courage and heartfelt words allowed us to be with Nancy in spirit in some of our darker days; of course Jim McLefresh, whose ceaseless dedication to keeping us up-to-date including those reminders of our dreaded forthcoming birthdays; and John Pichler whose technical expertise will assist with web site and Internet related matters. Bill Kistner will round out the web site committee in addition to ensuring our financial record keeping remains intact. Dwight Woessner will assist Bill with some of the financial duties.

 A special thank-you to Mike Levitt for writing our "Condition of Use Notice" and to Rick Bader for his help and input. They have worked together to give us proper legal protection for our class web site.

 As far as site content is concerned, Tom Kender has enthusiastically agreed to provide content via his "Tower of Memories" series provided on our site. Tom's writing is very engaging and a good quick read.

Our hope is that you enjoy the web site and communicate with us. Bring us your memories by sending your thoughts and photos from that point in time when life was simple. When we cruised the drive-ins and when we learned about 'rock and roll' and most important we discovered friendships. 

Please share your thoughts with us by using the "Contact Us" menu option on this site.