Nicky “Nick” Neal Nance, Jr. (1975-2011)

Nick Nance had a way of making so many of us feel like a special friend. He made children believe they could accomplish more. He generously supported the Lord’s church, gave gifts to friends and fulfilled the needs of others. Nick had a great laugh and was tenderhearted. He was a servant in every way. He could be seen at most anytime with a diet Sundrop, an eccentric tie, and a wide smile.

Nick has served the Mt Juliet community as a police officer, dispatcher, teacher, and assistant principal. He has served the Mt Juliet congregation as a faithful member, pre-teen leader, teacher of Bible classes, leader of Destination Unknown, worker in Bible Bowl, teacher of Inner City Ministry, participant in Welcome Wagon, served the Lord’s Supper to Shut-ins each week, served as a Greeter and Counted Attendance, a foster parent for Agape, Unlocked and Locked the building each week, and participated in Outreach. This isn’t a list of things Nick did over the past 10 years; this is literally a list of things Nick was presently involved in this year.

Nick’s life was intertwined with education. He was the first in his family to graduate from college. His latest degree would come from Tennessee Tech University earning an Educational Specialty Degree. As a teacher he is remembered as one who loved to hear what the kids had to say. Their input was important to him. A child was so much more than a test score to Nick. He often took care of children’s needs, even though the need wasn’t in the class room. One of his former students wrote a note about Nick bringing her whole family supper and later that evening showing up in their yard to sing Christmas carols. Another student said, “When your spirits were down, Mr. Nick picked you up.” While another said as their teacher they remembered his smile. A part of his effectiveness was seen in the fact that children felt comfortable approaching him. His humble spirit was attractive, his smile was contagious, and his class was a great place to learn!

Although we were shocked and deeply sadden by the passing of our friend and brother last Thursday, our memories are filled with smiles. We asked several to tell us what it was about Nick that makes you smile. One said, I smile when I think of Nick… eating amusement park food. Laura Smith said, “coming by my room at school to borrow a wet wipe and a hair dryer to clean up his shirt after dropping food on it!” Another smiled when he thought of the bounce in Nick’s step. We all smile when we think of his ties! But perhaps the best statement was, “put a period after it.” In other words, “I smile when I think of Nick.”

Nick Nance passed away Thursday evening leaving this community and congregation in deep grief and a state of shock. He will be greatly missed. As a church family we offer our deep sympathy and prayers to Betty JangDhari, Nick’s mother. Her sweet spirit was seen in Nick’s life. And to all of Nick’s family we offer our deepest prayers and sympathy. Along with you, we too loved Nick.