Nancy Williams

Nancy Williams

Nancy Williams


Nancy Williams, age 86, of Monticello, passed away at the Linn Manor Care Center on Wednesday, January 24, with her family by her side. Nancy had a stroke after her courageous battle with dementia/Alzheimer’s.

Funeral services will be held at The United Church of Monticello at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 30 with burial following at Oakwood Cemetery in Monticello with visitation at the Goettsch Funeral Home, Monticello on Monday, January 29, from 4 to 7 pm. Pastor Kathryn Newhall will officiate. Thoughts, memories, and condolences may be directed to the family at

Nancy was a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who cared for and cared about others. She especially loved welcoming babies into the family with her special brand of bouncing and jostling. Her family says she was their anchor who took great pride and pleasure in making a warm home filled with fresh baked cookies, Sunday dinners, and fabulous holiday treats.

Born in Skidmore, Missouri, Nancy Kunkel and Steve Williams met in high school where he was a starting football player and she was the band’s majorette. Nancy’s parents, Ed and Essie, gave her a no-nonsense view of life – one where well-worn overalls, perfect fried chicken and five kinds of pie were more valued than fancy clothes. When Nancy was upset with you – you knew. She would give you that “Oh come on, now” look. You couldn’t put one over on this feisty daughter of a small-town butcher and a restaurant cook. She was as no-nonsense as Essie’s pies!

Nancy and Steve moved to Iowa where Steve was a coach and teacher and eventually became a superintendent in various schools. Nancy supported Steve – “quietly in charge” (according to Steve) – as a school administrator for over 30 years, attending events and, famously baking over 100 small loafs of banana bread as Christmas gifts for staff and teachers. Christmas was her favorite time of year; she decorated every corner of the house!

Nancy raised the “Three Williams Girls,” as they became known, showcasing her seamstress skills in adorable pinafores and dresses, Easter outfits and handmade Barbie clothes. She even made Steve a polyester leisure suit! The girls grew to be highly independent and opinionated women who still treasure Nancy’s recipes and wisdom.

Nancy loved attending sports events, particularly the Iowa Hawkeyes, St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Chiefs. In recent years, Nancy has enthusiastically followed her grands’ and greats’ local activities and celebrated their milestones and successes. Other attendees will likely remember her particularly feisty critiques of referees at softball, baseball and basketball matches — particularly when seated next to her daughter, Penny, who swears they nearly got ejected from several of Megan’s games!

She and Steve enjoyed traveling and hosting with their local chapters of Friendship Force (Where homestays are designed to create international friendships and world understanding) Steve and Nancy have been hosted by families in nearly a dozen countries, making many lifelong friends. She also enjoyed travel with her siblings including cruises to Alaska, Panama, and fall trips to Gulf Shores.

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Essie (Hughes) and Ed Kunkel, her first born daughter, Debra Brighton and her beloved cat, King Waldo.

Nancy Williams is survived by her husband of 69 years, Steve Williams, her daughters, Sherry Williams (Steve Garneau) of Sacramento, CA and Penny (Bill) McLaughlin; 7 grandchildren: Becky Cooper and Scott (Tara) Brighton, Joe (Kayleigh) Williams, Rennie and Cady Moser, Megan and Mitchell McLaughlin; and 6 great-grandchildren: Scot Stingley, Gavin, Rylan, and Greta Cooper and Emma and Blaine Brighton. She is also survived by her four siblings Bob (Nina) Kunkel, Donna (Ben) Whited, JoAnn Schaefer, and Donald Edwin (Carol) Kunkel, many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Special thanks to Grand Living for the love and care Nancy received for the last 2 years, as well as the staff at Linn Manor, and Above and Beyond Hospice for the care and concern for Nancy and her family on her final journey.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association or the Monticello School District Foundation.

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