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1936 Nancy Stanage 2024

Nancy Stanage

March 8, 1936 — April 16, 2024

Edwardsburg, MI

Nancy E Stanage  

March 8, 1936-April 16, 2024


Nancy E. Stanage, age 88, of Edwardsburg, Michigan, passed away Tuesday, April 16 at St. Joseph Regional Medical Center after a lifetime of health problems in the company of her family.


She was born on March 8, 1936, in New Buffalo, Michigan to Mabel L. (Johnson) and Thorwald Olsen who preceded her in death. She was also preceded in death by an infant brother, Robert, and two sisters and brothers-in-law Jean (Robert) Wilhelm and Carol (William) Wilhelm.


At the age of 3, she displayed an unusual talent for playing the piano and was recognized as a child prodigy. She studied music at St. Mary's College, South Bend, Indiana from age 4 and as she advanced, she even took classes with college level students, often exceeding their skills. By the time she was 17, she won second place in the National Finals in piano. She taught piano, was an organist at the Catholic Church in New Buffalo, and often played with several local bands. After graduating from New Buffalo High School, Nancy went to Chicago Conservatory of Music. One of her greatest achievements was the position of being the piano accompanist for Laurent Novikoff, a renowned ballet dancer and former partner to world famous prima ballerina Anna Pavolva. He was choreographer and director of the Michigan Summer Theatre in Michigan City, Indiana in 1954. To qualify, he asked her to sit at the piano and play sheet music that he had written himself and play it through without seeing the piece in advance. She aced it easily. After the season ended for summer theatre, he offered to get her a job with the nationally known Paul Whiteman Band, but she wasn't ready to strike out on her own at that time and declined the offer. 


In 1956 she married Roger A. Stanage of Three Oaks, Michigan who proceeded her on January 12, 2016 after nearly 60 years of marriage. From this union they had three children, Carla (Eric) Linhoff, Janet (Claude) Rose, and Craig (Patricia) Stanage. She also had 3 grandchildren, Justin (Erin Kinnee) Stanage, Abel Stanage, and Zachery (Katie) Stanage, and one great-grandchild, Clara Stanage. After marriage and the first child, she became a stay-at-home Mom. She was very creative and artistic and loved to decorate her home and create beautiful and often useful items for home, family, and friends with talents in knitting, sewing, cross stitch, needlework, and painting to name a few things. She baked and canned fruits and vegetables, made jam, and was renowned for making Swedish tea ring coffee cakes for Christmas.


Roger and Nancy enjoyed traveling and visited most of the United States, parts of Canada, and Mexico. They also visited much of Europe and Scandinavia where they traveled by train and ship and visited Nancy's relatives in Norway. During their retirement years, they also took a cruise to Central America and visited Guatemala and Costa Rica. Every year there was a family vacation, most of the time with a travel trailer, to various regions of the United States. The most favorite place the family went back to over and over gain was the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee.


After leaving the Michigan area in 1994, Roger and Nancy made their permanent home for 17 years in a park model at a retirement community in Naples, FL., from November to late May or early June and had a 5th wheel trailer at a campground in Pigeon Forge, TN where they lived from June through October. When Roger's health failed, they moved back to the area and lived with their daughter, Janet, and her husband, Claude.


Arrangements are being entrusted to Haverstock Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 602 Maple Ave., LaPorte, IN where private family graveside services were held at Lamb's Chapel Cemetery, Rolling Prairie, IN on April 20th with Ft. Michael Matthews from Notre Dame doing the eulogy. 


Memorial contributions may be made to the Pet Refuge 4626 S. Burnett Dr. South Bend, IN 46614 -website


Online condolences may be made at

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