Cover photo for Nancy Van Ness's Obituary
Nancy Van Ness Profile Photo

Nancy Van Ness

May 28, 1957 — September 14, 2022

Doylestown, PA

Nancy Van Ness

Nancy B. Van Ness (nee Schwartz) departed her loving family on Sept. 14, 2022, after a fearless, five-year battle with cancer. She was 65.  

Nancy was born in Philadelphia on May 28, 1957, to Mimi and Larry Schwartz. The second of three children, she grew up in Roslyn and Willow Grove, and graduated Upper Moreland High School in 1975. There she made lifelong friends; years later, if prompted, she would recall with pride her time as co-captain of the Bearettes. She went on to attend Kutztown State College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1979. 

At Kutztown, Nancy met Billy, the love of her life. They would settle in Doylestown to raise a family. 

Nancy had an uncanny eye for design, decoration and fashion. She could turn a Marshalls sweater into a statement piece, making the entire outfit look high-end and effortless. When Nance wasn’t shopping for her husband and daughters, you could find her in a YMCA yoga class with friends. She always looked forward to Friday night family dinners at her favorite Doylestown restaurants. The soundtrack of her life included James Taylor, Earth Wind & Fire, Elton John, and Stevie Wonder; her tastes influencing two generations of lovers of “good” music.  

Nancy was a source of sound advice and wisdom for all who sought her out. And many did.  

Nance was truly defined by her beautiful smile and her unwavering love of family and dear girlfriends. She would tell you that her greatest accomplishment in life was her daughters. Never missing a game, event or ceremony, be it academic or athletic, she relished the chance to celebrate their achievements and the women they came to be.  

She is survived by her family who will miss her deeply and daily: 

Billy, her devoted husband, teammate, and protector of 41 years. Daughters Rachel (Zach) Brunner and Daisy (Dave Ball) Van Ness, to whom she was a model of strength and grace with a sprinkle of sass. Granddaughters Thea and Van Brunner, the apples of her eye; she was and will always be their beloved NeNe. 

Nancy learned how to be a mom from the best, Mimi, and was proceeded in death by her father Larry, from whom she inherited a quick wit, an appreciation of sarcasm and a distinct sense of humor. She was the caring sister of Jerry (Nina Ovryn) Schwartz and Laura (Joel) Angler and “bonus” sister to Cindy Nadeau, Debbie Van Ness, and Mark Van Ness. She was a proud aunt to nieces Kerry (Brent), Brianna (Jeremy), and Amber (Garon); nephews Billy (Nancy), Aaron (Christina), Danny (Heather), Zach, Josh (Jeannette), Bridger and Benji, and a GREAT aunt to her great-nieces and-nephews.  

A memorial service will be held on Monday, Sept. 19, 2022 at 3:30 p.m. at GOLDSTEINS’ ROSENBERG’S RAPHAEL-SACKS Suburban North, 310 Second Street Pike, Southampton, PA. Contributions in Nancy’s memory may be made to Fox Chase Cancer Center, www.foxchase.org/giving/, or to the Doylestown YMCA, www.ymcabucks.org/giving. An additional celebration of Nancy’s legacy will be held in October.   

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Nancy Van Ness, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, September 19, 2022

Starts at 3:30pm (Eastern time)

Goldsteins' Rosenberg's Raphael-Sacks Suburban North

310 2nd Street Pike, Southampton, PA 18966

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