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Nancy Lois Nierman-Baker
December 6, 1941 ~ October 10, 2023 (age 81) 81 Years Old
Nancy Lois Nierman-Baker of West Akron passed away peacefully on October 10, 2023. She was born in Lakewood on December 6, 1941, to Elmer H. and Lois C. Nierman. She attended both John Marshall (Cleveland) and North Olmsted high schools and enjoyed sharing memories with classmates from each at many class reunions. She was a devoted advocate for women’s equality, marching on Washington in support of the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. Nancy was a talented guitar player, photographer and seamstress. When she sewed clothes for her young daughters, she always included a matching outfit for their dolls.
Painting gave her immense pleasure, and her intuitive nature and love of people made breathtaking images come to life on her canvases. She studied under Jose Cintron, Jack Richard, Robert Brackman, Albert Handell, William Schultz and other master artists, and pursued formal education at the Cooper School of Art in Cleveland, Madison Art School in Connecticut and Kent State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. She was one of the first women accepted into the Akron Society of Artists.
Nancy once said, “Art is a healing experience. Creativity and spirituality are one and the same.” A battle with ovarian cancer led her to expand her artistic talents with a Master’s Degree in Art Therapy from Ursuline College in Pepper Pike and a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling from Walsh University in North Canton. Her work at Akron General Medical Center, art therapy instruction at Ursuline College and volunteer work at Stewart’s Caring Place helped many people find peace.
Labyrinths held special meaning for Nancy as a way of connecting to her spirituality through personal reflection. She trained as a certified labyrinth facilitator with the global nonprofit Veriditas, then helped create the labyrinth walk and the Healing Arts Group at the First Congregational Church of Akron as part of her spiritual journey.
Nancy’s humor was always self-deprecating, and her laugh was unmistakably distinctive. She loved movies, popcorn, tin roof sundaes, VW buses and her numerous pets. But most of all she loved people. She would talk to anyone, anywhere, whether she knew them or not. Her genealogy research deepened her connection to humanity, leading to membership in The Mayflower Society.
Preceded in death by her parents; sister, Judith Habert; daughter, Melissa Relyea; and beloved husband of 40 years, Donald Baker, Jr., Nancy will be sorely missed by her daughters, Jennifer (Jamie) and Jessica (Ron), and sons, Brendan (Lori) and Colin (Amanda). Also missing her are grandchildren who knew her as ‘Mimi,’ Lauren (Josh), Alex, Griffin, Cameron, Leila, Sarah, Amanda, Xaverie, Liam, Bodhi, Zach, Isaac and Noah; and great-grandchildren Lucy and Alice.
Calling hours will be held at Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd., Akron, 44333, on FRIDAY, October 27 from 4 to 8 p.m. A celebration of Nancy’s light and life will be held on SATURDAY, October 28 at 2 p.m. at First Congregational Church, 292 E. Market Street, Akron, 44308, with Rev. Nanette Pitt officiating. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that you make a donation to Stewart's Caring Place.
Join us for a labyrinth walk in Nancy’s honor on her birthday, December 6, at First Congregational Church of Akron.
Services in care of The Billow Funeral Homes & Crematory, Fairlawn Chapel, 85 N. Miller Road, Akron, OH 44333.