Georgianna ‘Gigi’ Sherrill Nance

December 9, 1943

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October 14, 2020

Georgianna ‘Gigi’ Sherrill Nance

December 9, 1943

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October 14, 2020

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 repkathy@yahoo.com or send a note to her at 2458 Eastridge Drive, Billings, MT 59102.

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30 thoughts on “Georgianna ‘Gigi’ Sherrill Nance”

  1. One of the most amazing teachers I had, who encouraged my love of reading, and just was always so supportive and giving! We got such a kick out of her having the same name and nickname as my mom. Always remembered her fondly…

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Beth. My mom would love to know that she had such an impact on you! She loved her teaching career and each and every one of her students.

  2. Roger and Joan Grammond

    Gigi was a dear friend and we loved visiting her in Billings and sharing a meal at The Olive Garden. We taught with her in Baker. Gigi was a very neat lady. Our deep sympathy to all of her family.

    1. Thank you so much, Roger and Joan. She loved her teaching career and always spoke fondly of everyone she worked with!

  3. Gigi’s family, what a grand lady she was. Always smiling and always a class act. She will be missed by many. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers. Mike and Connie Lohof.

    1. Thank you so much, Connie & Mike. She was a grand lady and I’m touched by reading all the wonderful notes about her. She will be so missed.

  4. Gigi was a dear friend and colleague. She’s so warm and caring! She wrote the best little notes with such care and consideration. I have kept many of them because she had a way of making me feel so special! When she left Baker and BHS, she left a huge void! Fly high with the angels my dear sweet friend and mentor!😇

    1. Thank you, Terry. I also have many cards from her that I will cherish for ever. She loved her time in Baker and made so many friends there. She is flying high with the angels indeed!

  5. Our hearts go out to you all during this very sad time, Nance family. Gigi was like a second mother to me as Kathy and I have always been like sisters. Gigi was such an inspiration to me as I completed my education to teach middle and high school English. Without her blazing a trail ahead of me, I’d likely not have achieved that goal or realized the dream. She was humble and kind, she was a lady. Gigi will be loved and missed always. ❤

    1. Thank you, Lisa! She loved you so much, just like another daughter and would be humbled to know how she inspired you.

  6. We were sisters in laws and shared a love of Montana. Gigi had the most beautiful smile and was always cheerful. She loved her children and grandchildren dearly. I wish we could have spent more time together.

    1. You certainly did share the love of Montana! She was a great mother, grandmother, mentor and friend. I miss her so much.

  7. What a beautiful tribute to your mother Kathy .Now I know where you get your wonderful personality and smile.Our condolences to the rest of the Nance family. Gigi sounds like such a wonderful person. May you find wonderful memories to share with one another.
    Love the Lurie Family ♥️

  8. Mrs. Nance left such a warm and caring impression on her students, me included. She made English I class you wanted to be in and cared so much for everyone who entered her classroom. Some of my favorite books are what we read as curriculum. She will be missed, but her mind and body are free to be the wonderful woman she was before Alzheimer’s. My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.

    1. Thank you so much, April. She’s smiling down from heaven as she learns what an impact she had on her students. She loved the years she spent in Baker and absolutely adored her students!

  9. Linda Cleveland

    I remember Gigi as such a beautiful woman inside and out. I could always see how much she loved her children and grand children. She will be missed.

  10. I knew Gigi from church. Besides her passion for New England sports teams (a sentiment not shared by many Montanans but she never backed down), she had an enthusiasm for other people and for life that was infectious. We have missed her a lot since she had to start battling Alzheimers and could no longer attend, and she’s a great lady I will always remember.

    1. Dave,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. She passed on her love for New England sports teams to us too! This disease robbed all of us and we miss her so much. Hope to meet you one day in church and she loved her church family so much.

      Kathy

  11. What a joy it was to know Gigi. When I joined the Nance Family back in 1985, Gigi was so gracious and welcomed me like she had known me for years. I remember she showed my how to cook a steak in a Cast Iron Pan and we laughed quite a bit during that process as she burned the first one! I loved keeping in touch with Gigi thorough the years through Christmas Cards and updates from her daughter, Kathy. I know she is flying with Angels now, free from disease, she will be missed but so fondly remembered.

    1. Thank you, Kim. She was so kind and welcoming to everyone. What a fun memory and I love reading and hearing everyone’s memories. She is certainly flying with the Angels now and completely healed!

      Kathy

  12. Andrea and Justin Pluhar

    We were so sorry to hear of Gigi’s passing. She was a wonderful neighbor of ours for many years. We always enjoyed visiting with her. She exuded energy and would talk of her family, golfing outings and many other things. Rest in peace Gigi. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of the family.

    1. Thank you, Andrea & Justin. I know she adored you guys and you were great neighbors to her. I’m glad my daughter and son in law bought her home to fill it with many more wonderful memories!

  13. Sid and JoAnn Parini

    We were so sorry to hear of Gigi’s passing. She was a wonderful person and a respected teacher. We enjoyed our years of teaching with her. Our boys loved her as a teacher. We had the Bodecker family in common with her to visit about. Sid enjoyed it when she brought Samantha to the pool. Just know our thoughts are with you at this time.

    1. JoAnn & Sid, thank you so much. She loved her time in Baker and I did too, when I brought Sam & Jen for visits. She missed all of you when she moved to Billings and spoke fondly of her colleagues and students. On a side note, Sam’s favorite place to be was at that pool with Sid giving her grief!

      Kathy

  14. Elizabeth Greteman

    My friend Gigi was so much fun, especially at bowling. I can remember other teams coming over to find out why we were having so much fun. She was an excellent bowler too. She took up golf with a passion, and had to be so precise on her shots. we enjoyed many good year going to lunch , remembering birthdays, exchanging small gifts. What a neat lady. I miss those days. Liz G

    1. Liz,
      Thank you so much for sharing your fun memories. She absolutely loved bowling with you ladies! I’m so glad she took it up again as well as golf. You all made her retirement here so enjoyable and busy.

      Kathy

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