Nancy Katz

Nancy Stearns Katz

Monday, January 10th, 1927 - Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020
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Nancy Stearns Katz. a lifelong Chicagoan and daughter of the city’s Depression era nightclub world, passed away on March 3 at age 93, surrounded by her family. Nancy was raised on the north side, graduated from Senn High School, and continued onto Northwestern University, from which she graduated at the age of twenty. While still a student at Northwestern, she met, fell in love with, and married Jack Katz, a Naval officer recently returned from World War II. They soon began a family that produced four children over the next ten years, and over the ensuing seventy years yielded a deeply rewarding life. Her early married life was launched in a subdivision in Glenview newly carved from farmland. This was a golden age for Nancy, raising her children; developing numerous lasting friendships, and energetically engaging in a variety of civic activities, including the League of Women Voters and the PTA. Participation in causes and campaigns was a passionate focus throughout Nancy’s life. She was present at such landmark events as the 1954 U.S. Senate McCarthy hearings, the 1968 Democratic convention protests in Grant Park, and the 2004 March for Women’s Lives in Washington DC. A love of reading, literature, culture, and ideas was central to Nancy’s life, and this was a joy she enthusiastically shared with everyone she knew. A voracious reader whose bedside table was always piled high with often erudite novels, she was as knowledgeable and discerning of literary fiction as a tenured professor. Once her children were grown, she eagerly returned to work, and bookstores proved the perfect fit. At the Glencoe bookstore, in the suburb to which her family eventually moved, and later at Kroch’s and Brentano’s in Old Orchard, Nancy was renowned for spot-on suggestions about books that would make for captivating reading. She and her husband enjoyed traveling to far-flung lands – Australia, Africa, Alaska, and Europe – yet found equal pleasure in journeys closer to home, particularly around the shores of her beloved Lake Michigan. In her later years, Nancy was an integral member of her local Institute for Learning in Retirement where, among her many contributions, she spearheaded the regular New Yorker group. These ILR classes, in this final phase of her life, became an intellectual and cultural home where her probing intelligence, bright morning spirit, keen wit, and zest for vigorous discussion were on full display. Despite several serious health challenges dating back to her mid-40’s, Nancy continued to be unfailingly upbeat, and would frequently declare to anyone within earshot how lucky she felt to have enjoyed such an abundant life. She is survived by her children, Marcia Katz, Judith Lubershane, David Katz and Bob Katz, and their spouses. In addition, she is survived by her brother Sheldon Stearns of Portland, OR, nine grandchildren, three great-grandchldren, and many nieces and nephews. Contributions in her memory may be made to Planned Parenthood or a charity of the donor’s choosing. The family will be gathering in memory of Nancy on Friday, March 13 from 4 pm to 8 pm. For the address of the gathering, please contact Goldman Funeral Group. 847-478-1600.
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Service Details

  • Gathering in Memory of Nancy

    Friday, March 13th, 2020 |
    Friday, March 13th, 2020
    From 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call Goldman Funeral Group (847-478-1600) for address


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Private Condolence

Charlotte Projansky

Posted at 05:37pm
I knew Nancy from northwestern university My condolences to the family.I remember she fixed up Martha Fox to her now husband.years ago .She was a wonderful person who had a heart of gold. I will remember always.Charlotte Projansky.

William White

Posted at 08:01pm
Bob, Elaine and I send our best to your family. Take care, old friend. Bill White

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