Nancy Taylor Duffett Strobel died peacefully July 8, 2021 at home in the company of her husband, Gray H. (Tim) Strobel and children Tyler and Tracy; overlooking the Skidaway River marshes, as Tropical Storm Elsa provided the thunderclaps, lightning, wind and rain appropriate to mark Nancy’s entrance to Heaven to be with the Lord.
Nancy was born in Akron, Ohio on Friday the 13th, in October of 1944 to Gail Yoder Duffett and William E. Duffett. Nancy’s early life was shaped by a love of nature. Nancy and her sister Becky recall with great fondness their father’s arrival home from work each day with the aroma of the many flowers he developed as a plant geneticist at Yoder Brothers. Through her decades of life she passed this love for nature and her wonderful artistic talents on through her work and her volunteer service.
Nancy graduated John R. Buchtel High School, then launched into the world to study at Sullins College in Bristol, Virginia, completing an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts. She continued her education and metropolitan life expansion, completing an Associate Degree in Fashion Illustration and Merchandising, at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, New York. She put this education to fine use while working in retail sales and display for Oak Hall Clothiers, and finishing her professional pursuits as the retail manager for the Des Moines Botanical Center. She’s blessed the life of many, before and after her retirement through her volunteer service at Our Lady of Confidence Carmelite Monastery – where she received the title Sister of Flowers, the ornate decorations she provided for Christmas celebrations at the club houses in The Landings, and the numerous floral and plant arrangements she created for friends and fundraisers.
Nancy and Tim’s love story started in high school, with Nancy a popular majorette while Tim played on the football team. They stood the test of time and distance while Nancy completed her education away from Ohio and were married August 7, 1965. Their 56 years of marriage has been a grand adventure raising Tyler and Tracy, traveling through the U.S. and around the globe, and being phenomenal grandparents to their three grandchildren. Wherever Nancy lived, and wherever she traveled (no matter the reason), Nancy brought her a remarkable ability to bring joy into each room she was in, and to show sincere care to the people in her midst. Since moving to Savannah, she’s formed a broad circle of dear friends, sharing Mahjong, Lula’s luncheon group, and most recently, Croquet. She was an active member of The Landings Garden Club, The Center Island Committee and coordinated the Causeway Cleanup group. Nancy lived with exuberance, zeal, compassion and faith; of course, combined with a flair for the dramatic. She was an avid story-teller, often of her own life experiences, and sometimes recitals that would keep an audience spellbound. Nancy had a wonderful ability to help people to feel at ease, to share their lives and stories and to experience the highs and lows of life with hope. As her life came to a close, she shared that she would miss the fun that those she loved and knew stayed behind in this world would have in her absence.
If Tomorrow Starts Without Me (David Ramano)
If tomorrow starts without me, and I'm not there to see,
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn't cry the way you did today,
while thinking of the many things we didn't get to say.
I know how much you care for me, and how much I care for you,
and each time that you think of me I know you'll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand,
that an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand,
and said my place was ready in heaven far above,
and that I'd have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away, a tear fell from my eye,
for all life, I'd always thought I didn't want to die.
I had so much to live for and so much yet to do.
it seemed almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, I thought, just for a while,
I'd say goodbye and hug you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized that this could never be,
for emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things that I'd miss come tomorrow.
I thought of you, and when I did, my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through Heaven's gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, from His great golden throne,
He said, "This is eternity and all I've promised you,
Today your life on earth is past but here it's starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, but today will always last.
and since each day's the same, there's no longing for the past.
But you have been so faithful, so trusting, so true.
Though there were times you did some things you knew you shouldn't do.
And you have been forgiven and now at last you're free.
So won't you come and take my hand and share my life with me?"
So if tomorrow starts without me, don't think we're far apart,
for every time you think of me, please know I'm in your heart.
She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Gray H. (Tim) Strobel, children Tyler (Julia Dahl) and Tracy (Marty Kovach), her grandchildren Grace (Strobel), Nathan and Lauren (Kovach), siblings Becky Duffett Stiles (Art), Mark (Vicki), Chris, and Kim (Adele), sibling in law Eric “Hap” (Chris) and many nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends and loved ones at Fox and Weeks (https://foxandweeks.com); 7200 Hodgson Memorial Drive, Savannah, GA), Monday, July 12, 2021 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. followed by processional to St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church (11500 Middleground Road, Savanna, GA) for memorial service and mass at 12:00 p.m. with Father Gabriel Cummings. The service will be available by livestream. https://cabrini-sav.org/live-stream/. In lieu of flowers, donations in honor of Nancy D. Strobel – Sister of Flowers to Our Lady of Confidence Carmelite Monastery. https://secure.lglforms.com/form_engine/s/lchCehqL9O_5a_v_o-qHzA.
Link to view recording of service:
A delightful person, full of life and love for her family and community. Her smile lit up any room she was in, and her energy lifted us all.
- Rosalie and Steve Sanderson, Savannah , GA
A wonderful friend, full of joy and who will be terribly missed.
- FRANK AND NANCY ZUGEL, Mystic, CT
Even though I knew Nancy mostly thru my sister Deborah, I felt she was my friend too. During the times when I visited, she always made the effort to see me. I deeply felt her warmth, love and happiness. The world has lost a huge dose of much needed kindness.
- Denise Alexander, Durango, CO
Such a beautiful lady. Always filled with love, caring and sharing. With us in our time of greatest need. We send our love to Tim, Tracy and Tyler and all the Strobels and Duffetts.
- The Nations Men, Dennis, Brian, Dennis II, Phoenix, Arizona
My sympathy and prayers go out to your family. She was a joy to work with through the years of Christmas decorating at The Landings Club! I will miss her energy and enthusiasm!
- Larry Fall, Savannah, GA
I was so sad to sad to see this notification from The Landings Garden Club this morning. Nancy was an exceptional woman of so many talents. She was also a most courageous fighter of her cancer...always positive, strong and upbeat. I had the distinct enjoyment of working on the Holiday gates with her the last few years. She will be missed by her many friends here at The Landings. Blessings and sympathy to her family. Seekie
- Seekie Drysdale, Savannah, GA
Nancy’s infectious attitude and smile along with a tight hug will be missed by all and especially me! She always brightened the room she walked into and made sure you were enjoying yourself. Tim, we will be there for you to help you get through this very tough period of time. You were a tremendous pillar of strength for Nancy and it was obvious how much you loved each other. I value your friendship so please let me know how I can be of any help going forward! Much love and lots of Hugs, Vic V.
- Vic Vaccaro, Savannah, GA - GEORGIA
Our first volunteer activity when moving to the Landings was joining Nancy’s Causeway Clean Up brigade. What a remarkable woman of extraordinary talents who used those gifts to make Skidaway Island cleaner and more beautiful! Her joie de vivre was apparent in every task she took on, and was spread to all around her! She will be greatly missed.
- Jayne and Bob Rogers, Savannah, GA
I thank our Lord for the 76+ years of Nancy's life that we could be blessed by her presence, her friendship and love that she so freely gave to us. She was full of life, energy and joy. My love to Tim, Tyler and Tracy, all of her siblings, in-laws and grandchildren.
- Jean Feudner Machamer, Macungie , PA
We both will miss a good friend whom we have shared many moments, laughs, and friendship. A delight to be with and did light up a room with a smile and laugh! Bob and Barb
- Bob and Barbara Gunness, Savannah, Georgia
Oh my goodness--Tracy and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I hope love and wonderful memories help you through your sorrow.
- Monica Brown, Lakewood, Ohio
I had the great pleasure of working with Nancy on a Telfair Museum fundraiser. Of course her job was to make the room and tables look beautiful and that she did. Her talent with flowers and her creative eye were exceptional. She was a joy and her smile brightened every room she entered. Nancy will be missed by many.
- Carolyn Szlasa, Savannah, GA
Services under the direction of:
Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
- 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. on Mon, July 12, 2021
- Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel
7200 Hodgson Memorial Drive (map)
Savannah GA 31406
- Mass of Christian Burial
- 12:00 p.m. on Mon, July 12, 2021
- St. Frances Cabrini Catholic Church