Nancy Chambers

Nancy Jayne Chambers (Smith)

Monday, March 12th, 1934 - Tuesday, May 21st, 2019
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Nancy S. Chambers passed away peacefully May 21, 2019 at Elderwood of Lake Placid. Born in Buffalo, NY on March 12, 1934, she was the daughter of Charles A. and Alma B. Smith.

Nancy graduated from Williamsville High School and Buffalo State University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education in 1954. She married Mel Chambers on August 27th 1954. Her first teaching job was in Niagara Falls, NY where she worked while Mel completed his education.

In 1955 Nancy and Mel moved to Saranac Lake, where Nancy had lived briefly as a child and where she convinced Mel to honeymoon. Nancy began her teaching career in the area starting in the one-room schoolhouse in Onchiota. She taught there and in Bloomingdale for the next several years, until the birth of their daughter.

When her children reached school age, Nancy returned to teaching in the now centralized Saranac Lake School District. Over the following twenty years, she taught at Lake Clear, Petrova, and Bloomindale Elementary Schools, where her students were never allowed to say, “I can’t.” She was known for the high expectations she had for all her students. Nancy retired in 1994, and she and Mel began spending increasing lengths of time in Florida.

Prior to her retirement, for many years Nancy volunteered on the Winter Carnival Committee, Citizen of the Year Committee, and the Hanmer Guideboat Races. She was also one of the founding members of the Mt. Pisgah Ski Patrol.

Nancy is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Susan and Miles VanNortwick of Saranac Lake; her son and daughter-in-law, Jeff and Christi Chambers of Fort Pierce, Florida and Saranac Lake; her grandchildren, Adam and his wife, Steph, VanNortwick of Rockingham, Virginia; Jenifer VanNortwick of Washington, DC; Amy Bell of Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Samuel Chambers of Golden, Colorado; her great-grandchildren Gavin and Avery VanNortwick; and her niece and nephews, Jody (Carl) Wentworth; Mark (Ann) Weller and Scott (Lisa) Weller. In 2015 Mel predeceased her. She was also predeceased by her parents and her sister, Judy Weller.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, 20 Church Street, Saranac Lake, NY.

By request, there will be no public services. Those wishing to remember Nancy are asked to consider a donation to the Saranac Lake Teachers’ Association Scholarship Fund or the Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department or Rescue Department.

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