Nancy Elaine Little passed away peacefully in Ft. Myers, Florida on August 8, 2021 at age 94. Nancy was born December 9, 1926 to Margaret (McCallum) and Gordon Little. Like her two younger sisters, Margaret and Mona, she was born in the family home on their farm in Cowal, Ontario. Growing up, she helped on the farm, but teaching, not farming, was her calling. She often told the story of being responsible for watching over the turkey chicks to keep them from suffocating, a task she failed at because she was always reading. She liked to play school, with her sisters as pupils, and helped her mother to raise the girls, dispensing advice that they mostly followed. She retained a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors however, always noticing flowers, song birds, and crops in the fields. Her parents wanted Nancy to pursue a degree, and she did her teacher training at London Normal School, going on to teach at one-room schoolhouses in rural Kent and Elgin Counties. She also taught 4th grade in Toronto for 30 years, at both Park Street and Alexander Muir Schools. Students adored Miss Little, and some of them kept in touch and visited her decades later. She had fond memories of the year she taught in England on an exchange program.
In addition to teaching, Nancy loved her family and they loved her. She had the ability to make each of us feel special, uniquely loved, and talented. It was not surprising that when her mother needed her help, she took early retirement in 1981 and returned to Cowal to live with her. She was deeply involved with her community. She was an active member of the Cowal Church and the Women’s Institute, and for years drove to St. Thomas to pick up copies of the Globe and Mail and the London Free Press to bring to her neighbours. Nancy enjoyed telling and hearing stories about her family and her community--often they were the same thing. Eating supper outdoors with Mona and cousins Neil and Muriel McCallum was a favorite activity. Nancy had an excellent memory and was extremely knowledgeable about history, both local and international. Her American family sometimes joked that she knew more about American history than they did, and there was no question who knew more about British history, and the British Royal Family. She traveled to Europe with her sister Margaret and went often to the States to attend weddings, graduations, and other family occasions. No family gathering felt complete without Nancy. Nancy looked forward to visits from her sisters and their families during the summers and Thanksgivings spent with her sister Mona’s family in South Carolina and Florida. Mona moved in with Nancy ten years ago, and the two of them were very socially active in the community of Cowal. More recently, they moved to Fort Myers to live with Mona’s eldest daughter Maggie. Mona’s youngest Laura Jane and family lived nearby, and all of her nephews and nieces continued to visit Nancy while she lived in Florida. Nancy is predeceased by her parents, her sister Margaret, and her niece Catherine. Nancy’s positive approach to life--“superdeluxe” is a descriptive term she used often--influenced so many of us. She will be missed by many, including her sister Mona Ives, nephews and nieces Frank Charles Ives (Maria), Maggie Ives, Laura Jane McGee (Matt), Alexandra Regan (Andrew Plantinga), Nancy Schroeder (Dave), and Philip Regan (Heather Long). And by her grandnieces and grandnephews Charlie and Annie Ives, Case and Greta Plantinga Regan, Oliver and Sadie McGee, Benjamin Regan, and Cooper and Lila Schroeder.
A graveside service will be held at Cowal -McBride Cemetery on September 10, 2021 at 1:30 pm.