Nancy Pistorius

A creative, kind, courageous and beautiful woman was called home to her Father in Heaven on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Nancy Pistorius, 67, died Saturday morning, June 13, in her home in Lawrence, KS. She was born August 18, 1952 in Springfield, Illinois to William (Bill Miller) and Stella (Stapleton) Pistorius. She was a loving wife to her husband of 37 years, Brad Buecker, and an adoring mother to her beloved daughter, Alyssa Buecker, who currently resides in Austin, TX. Other survivors include three siblings: Cindy Wieties-Ogren and husband Bob Ogren of The Woodlands, TX, and their children Allison Wieties and Caley Mahar and her husband Matt; Mary Zerfas of Suwanee, GA, and her children, McKenna and Miller Zerfas; and Bill Pistorius and his wife Susan of Chicago, IL, and their children Brian, Jaimie and Lindsay Pistorius. She is also survived by sister-in-law Nancy Buecker of Springfield, IL; an aunt, numerous cousins, as well as hundreds of loving friends from around the world who have been expressing how much they will miss the light of her bright smile, her laughter, and her beautiful soul. Nancy was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, William Edward.

Nancy was a freelance writer from the time she could hold a pen, winning national awards for her poetry, fiction, and essays since grade school. She earned a Master’s Degree in English/Literature from the University of Illinois and also attended schools in Florida and London, England. A 26-year resident of Lawrence, KS and an avid Jayhawks fan, she didn’t agree with fellow Kansan Dorothy that “there’s no place like home,” because she would have rather been out exploring the whole wide world, and writing about it.

Nancy published fiction, poetry, essays and feature articles in more than seventy-five different national and international literary publications including Woman’s Day, Cosmopolitan and the Chicago Tribune. She was also a highly sought-after travel writer with a particular passion for Disneyland and Walt Disney World and received awards from the North America Travel Journalist Association (NATJA). A Disney Lifer, she was well known at many of the Walt Disney World resort hotels and a number of the attractions within the parks. She fully embraced a credo of the late Walt Disney: “All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Nancy was a tremendously outgoing and enthusiastic person, remaining incredibly optimistic and demonstrating a keen sense of humor even during numerous health struggles.

She also passionately loved the little terriers she had through most of her life. One of her favorite quotes was by author Robert B. Parker: “I heard somebody define heaven once,” she said, looking at Pearl, “as a place where, when you get there, all the dogs you ever loved run to greet you.” We are quite certain that Nancy was greeted on Saturday by all of the little fur babies she took such wonderful care of throughout her life.

In lieu of services at this time, her family is planning to hold Celebrations of Life for her in Lawrence and Springfield at a time when the COVID-19 virus has been brought under control. Nancy would have never wanted her family members and friends to be placed in any jeopardy on her account. Donations can be made to the Lawrence Humane Society.

Please share stories and pictures to the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, at: www.rumsey-yost.com

Messages & Condolences

From Jo Lynn Jorczak...

Nancy was my friend from the day I met her at the beach in Boca Raton in 1973, where we were both attending classes. Sadly, I learned of her passing this morning when I wondered why she had not responded to my last email. Something inside of me caused me to enter her name into the search engine wherein I then learned that one of my longest and dearest friends had passed away. I will miss our ongoing correspondences and live with the regret that we never had that one last chance to visit the beach together, something we had long been hoping to do.

From Ellen Walterscheid...

Deepest condolences to Nancy’s family. I met Nancy almost 30 years ago at a writers conference in Kansas. After I moved to New York she and Alyssa visited several times. (Alyssa, your pizza place on the corner is now a Brazilian coffee and pastry shop. They are waiting for you!) On Nancy’s last visit here in the summer of 2015, we went to the children’s room of the New York Public Library to see the Mary Poppins exhibit. It was Nancy’s idea; I didn’t even know it was happening. We examined and photographed every artifact in the exhibit, including P. L. Travers’s parrot-handled umbrella and the Dutch wooden doll that had served as a model for the original illustrations of the Poppins character. When Nancy and I first met we had bonded over our childhood love of the Poppins books and the enigmatic figure of Mary. I can still hear Nancy saying, “Oh yes, Ellen, Mary Poppins was a PAGAN!” then collapsing into a gale of laughter. I will miss Nancy’s love of life, her humor, and most of all her friendship. She is out there in the stars somewhere.

From Tony Manuele...

My condolences to The Pistorius family with their loss. Although Nancy has passed she will live in your hearts forever.

From Jennifer Brown...

Nancy was such a beautiful soul in every conceivable way. My condolences to the family. She will be greatly missed.

From Beth Anne Heckler...

Our deepest sympathies for your loss Brad and Alyssa. We will always treasure playing cards with you both while the kids played. Beth Anne and Dickie

From Heather Ackerly Dennis...

I met Nancy through Alyssa’s guinea pig films. Her love for Alyssa was so evident and she was so supportive of Alyssa’s work. She was a lovely person. I’m so sorry for your loss

From Julie Neal...

Even though Nancy had been battling serious illnesses, she was unfailingly cheerful, curious, and thrilled to be alive. I can’t picture her without that huge smile. I originally met Nancy years ago when she wrote a review of our Disney guidebook. We’d meet up at Disney media events, and touch base when she stayed at the Dolphin hotel. I’d see her walking toward me from across the lobby, carrying her little dog, with that smile beaming. She was a skilled and insightful writer, a passionate animal lover, and a thoughtful friend. I loved her and will miss her.

From Judy Hyde...

Nancy was such a lovely lady, with a smile that lit up the room. I always enjoyed catching up with her when when we’d attend writers’ conferences. She will be missed. My sincere condolences to all Nancy’s family and friends.

From Cheri Boede Cox...

We will forever miss you , Nancy. To her entire family, my deepest condolences.

From Joan Hunsaker...

My sincere condolences to Nancy’s family. She was a sweet, person, who always had a smile and a hug for everyone who knew her. The world has lost a gentle soul and gifted writer. She will be greatly missed.

From Mary Lee...

To Nancy’s family, you have my deepest sympathies about Nancy. I met Nancy through an Osher trip through K.U. a few years (maybe 10) back and we sat next to each other and chatted the whole time. I saw her on several more such outings and we always sat next to each other and had a great time. My schedule hasn’t allowed me to go on those outings in several years, so I hadn’t seen Nancy for a while. She was a wonderful lady and I will miss her.

From Judy Bauer...

I am profoundly saddened to learn of Nancy’s death. She radiated a kind and cheerful spirit. Please accept my deepest sympathy.

From Sid and Nadine Snider...

Nancy was our former neighbor and a forever friend. Going to miss her smile and her ability to see the humor in anything. Going to really miss all the laughter we shared. Heaven has gained a bright and shinning star.

From Valerie Michaleski...

Nancy was a bright light in this world. I will never forget how kind she was to me. Many condolences to her family.

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