NANCY COLBY LEGGITT KATZMANN

June 10, 1931 - May 22, 2017

Nancy Katzmann, 85, passed away peacefully on May 22, 2017 in Ithaca, NY. The daughter of Frank and Elizabeth Leggitt, Nancy was born June 10, 1931 in Indianapolis, IN, and brought with her a love of life and a desire to help others that she carried with her throughout her days.

Nancy grew up as the youngest of three children in Wilmette, IL where she attended Linden Elementary School and New Trier High School. She often spoke of the joy of visiting her father's ice cream parlors in the area where she developed a life time love for the ambience and treats of such shops.

Nancy's razor sharp intellect brought her to DePauw University where she met and soon married her life long companion, Harry Edward Katzmann. Their kindred spirits shared a love of family, celebration, jazz, dancing, and travel, but enjoyed each others' company most of all. They were inseparable, joking often that they "were joined at the hip." Their common world view guided them along a path where they helped others from diverse backgrounds and beliefs.

In the 1960's, Nancy and Harry welcomed inner city Chicago youth into their suburban home for the summer through Friendly Town, an organization they co-founded and helped to support. Later they housed a refugee fleeing from Castro's regime who went to become an ordained minister, and, in 1982, together they traveled to Nicaragua to help mediate a conflict between the Nicaraguan and Honduran governments and rebel forces as representatives of the United Church of Christ.

As parents, they made every effort to show their sons the beauty and diversity of the world through long road trips in the family station wagon to the Western US, Canada and Mexico, and annual camping trips to Door County, Wisconsin.

After retirement, they traveled the world together. Never afraid of adventure, Nancy recalled her hot air balloon exploits with particular glee. She always had a remarkable mind, often devouring a full length novel in a day, and expressing herself through painting and writing of poetry that captured the depth of her life experience with poignancy and grace.

She will be missed.

Nancy was preceded in death by her husband, Harry, and a son , Jeff. She is survived by sons Scott (Kathleen) and Brent (Diana), and six grandsons, Craigen, Chris, Kevin, Garrison, Scotty and Jimmy . Together, they feel blessed to have shared her life and her love .

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to the Tompkins County Chamber Foundation, noting Nancy & Harry Katzmann on the donation. Proceeds will help purchase a bench in their memory overlooking Cayuga Lake in Stewart Park, a favorite place of theirs. Tompkins County Chamber Foundation,  904 East Shore Drive, Ithaca, NY  14850