Boyne loses ray of sunshine

Louisa, Nels, and Nancy Northup
Boyne City native Nancy Northup, perhaps best known for her long-running newspaper column "Northern Neighbors" has died at the age of 71.

By: Benjamin J. Gohs, News Editor
(231) 222-2119

Boyne City native Nancy Northup, perhaps best known for her long-running newspaper column “Northern Neighbors” has died at the age of 71.

Nancy was born and raised in Boyne City, leaving for her last two years of high school and graduating from East Detroit High School in 1959.

“She was just a ray of sunshine to whoever bumped into her,” said Nancy’s brother Nels Northup.

Nancy delighted readers with her recounting of the social happenings most recently in the Petoskey News-Review and in numerous other newspapers including the Boyne Citizen-Journal, a Walloon Lake-based publication and as far back as the Petoskey Evening News.

Despite having a handicap which left her wheelchair-bound, Nancy made her way around town for concerts and festivals.

“I don’t recall how long she was wheelchair-bound but one of the most fantastic things was one day after she got her power wheelchair she asked me if I ever counted the stars in the sky,” Nels said. “I said ‘no, I only look at the moon if it’s something outstanding.’ It’s an easy thing to take for granted that you don’t even look up; but, with her power wheelchair she was able to go outside and look up at the sky after 21 years—something like that hits you like a sledgehammer.”

According to Nels, Nancy took journalism classes at North Central Michigan College.

“She had such a positive attitude,” Nels said. “She had to do all her writing and typing with her left hand due to her birth defect.”

When she wasn’t writing, Nancy enjoyed studying the Bible and creating greeting cards.

Nancy was born and raised in the house at 317 South Lake St. in Boyne City.

“She loved people and, at last county, she probably had about a million friends,” Nels said.

She has a daughter and granddaughter who live in Florida.

Northup died on Jan. 10 at Grandvue in East Jordan. Nels said a memorial will be scheduled at a later date.

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