Early on October 14, 2020, Georgianna “Gigi” Sherrill Nance won her battle with Alzheimer’s and went home to heaven, to join her parents and other family members and friends who have passed before her. We, her family, have tried so sum up such an incredible life in the following paragraphs. We pray it gives you a glimpse into what she accomplished as well as the legacy she leaves.
Gigi was born on Dec. 9, 1943, to Gibbs and May Sherrill. She grew up in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, along with her three sisters and one brother. Her childhood was spent at the family home on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, where she enjoyed sailing, playing tennis and also became an avid horsewoman. Gigi had a strong love of horses and grew up riding and showing them. Gigi attended grade school in Beverly Farms; Saint Timothy’s boarding school for high school; followed by Bradford Junior College, where she graduated in 1964, with honors with an Associate’s Degree.
In the summer of 1963, she traveled to Birney, Montana, to work at Bones Brothers Dude Ranch, where she met Jay Nance, a local rancher. Gigi and Jay married on Aug. 1, 1965, and spent the next 20-plus years together on the family ranch in Birney raising their two children, Jay Jr. and Kathy. Gigi was a devoted wife and mother. She was active with her children in 4H, their school sports, as well as being a major component of the family cattle ranch.
Jay and Gigi later divorced and Gigi moved to Billings, and returned to college and with grace, began her next life chapter. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in education at Rocky Mountain College (with the highest honors) in the spring of 1989. She then moved to Baker, taught high school English in Baker for a number of years and was loved by faculty and students. When she retired approximately 14 years later, she moved back to Billings to enjoy her retirement and spend time with her family, and forge new lifelong friendships.
There’s no question that one of Gigi’s favorite places to be was West Beach and Pride’s in Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, where she grew up. Since beaches are hard to find in Montana, Gigi made yearly trips to Massachusetts to see her siblings and enjoy some much needed beach time with her siblings. Although her roots were on the East Coast, she embraced everything the Western life had to offer and loved her time raising her family on the ranch. She adored her family, her friends.
She was an avid fan of all New England sports, specifically the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots. Her retirement years were extremely active. She loved spending time on the golf course, bowling, volunteering at the Alberta Bair Theater and being very active in her church, King of Glory Lutheran Church.
As everyone knows, Gigi was always there for her family and friends. To know Gigi was to love her. We look forward to hearing funny stories and favorite memories of her. She had a beautiful impact on all that were fortunate enough to know her.
Gigi was preceded in death by her parents, Gibbs W. Sherrill and May Gould Sherrill English. She is survived by her children, Jay T. Nance Jr. (Kristen), Katherine “Kathy” Nance Dietz; her grandchildren, Samantha Dietz Miller (James), Jennifer Dietz, Taylor Nance, Morgan Nance and Jack Nance; her former husband, Jay T. Nance Sr., and by her siblings, Sarah “Sally” Sherrill, Charles “Charlie” Sherrill, Jane Sherrill, Claire Reeves; as well as her treasured nephews and nieces both by blood and marriage.
We appreciate all the care over the years from Sweetwater Retirement Community, the Cottage at Highgate Senior Living, Compassus Hospice and Dr. Larry Severa. Her caregivers were family and took such wonderful care of not only her, but of us, her family.
We are devastated that we are unable to hold a public service as we want to keep her friends and family healthy due to the current pandemic. We know the church would be filled with all of her family, former students and friends to celebrate her life. A private immediate family service is planned, but we know each of you will be there in spirit. Her gravesite will be at Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park in Billings.
In lieu of flowers, to honor of Gigi, donations can be made to King of Glory Lutheran Church (4125 Grand Ave., Billings, MT 59106), the Montana Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association https://www.alz.org/montana, or another charity you know meant a lot to her. If possible, we would love to hear about any memorials made in her name as she would be so pleased! You can email Kathy, to share with the family, at firstname.lastname@example.org or send a note to her at 2458 Eastridge Drive, Billings, MT 59102.