April 16, 2014

Nancy Nash Johnson

May 19, 1938 - March 29, 2014

NASHVILLE, TENN. — Nancy Nash Johnson of Nashville, Tenn. passed away peacefully at her home on Saturday, March 29, 2014 after a two year battle with breast cancer.

She was born to the late Duane and Barbara Nash on May 19, 1938, in Brooklyn, N.Y. Nancy graduated from Wilmington Friends School in 1956 and received a BA from Mt Holyoke College in 1960, majoring in Physiology. She also received a Masters of Education from Harvard University in 1963. She married H. Keith Johnson, MD in 1960 and they were happily married for more than 53 years.

As a teenager, Nancy climbed extensively with her father in the Adirondack Mountains and was the 107th person to climb all 46 Adirondack peaks higher than 4000 feet.

Nancy was a teacher at heart. She first taught science at The Lenox School and The Professional Children's School in New York City in 1963. Last year, fifty years later, she was still teaching at Franklin Road Academy as a science consultant. When Nancy arrived in Nashville in 1969, she started teaching at Oak Hill School and followed Bill Bradshaw to Franklin Road Academy when it was started in 1973. She continued to teach at Franklin Road Academy for the next 40 years.

In 1975 Nancy helped to found Camp Okawehna, a week-long camp for children with kidney disease. She has attended every camp since then, even while enduring chemo treatments over the last two years. For both campers and counselors who have been at Camp Okawehna, it is difficult to think about having camp without "Camper Nancy" being there.

Nancy also spent a great amount of time at Radnor Lake. To her, Radnor Lake was her "piece of the Adirondacks" in Nashville.

Nancy touched so many people. She made each of us feel special and valued. When we spoke with her, she was completely engaged in our conversation. When we would see her later, she would remember minute details about our conversation and would ask for an update on what we talked about previously.

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