OBITUARY: Nancy Fulkerson Feb. 9, 1949 – Oct. 1, 2015

Nancy Fulkerson
Nancy Fulkerson

Nancy Fulkerson was truly a life-long enthusiast of both genealogy and family history.

She introduced countless numbers of individuals of all ages to pursue the resources that would help them tell their own family story. In doing so, she relied extensively on local newspapers and obituaries. She especially appreciated all of the information that a well-written obituary can provide to memorialize the person being researched by future generations.

We feel confident that Nancy would be delighted to know that these details of her own life might one day prove helpful to someone looking back on “her story.”

Nancy M. (Harper) Fulkerson, 66, of Boyne City, Mich. and late of Wayland, Mich., passed away on Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2015 at The Laurels of Sandy Creek in Wayland, due to complications from brain cancer.

Nancy Marie Harper was born on Feb. 9, 1949 in Petoskey, Mich., the daughter of Russell “Jack” Harper and Marian (Liscum) Harper-Davis.

She was also the granddaughter of Dale and Dorothy (Joy) Liscum and Maxwell and Delsie (Howe) Harper.

Nancy lived all her life in Boyne City, except the years from 1960-1969 when the family lived in Detroit. Her love of both Boyne City and Charlevoix County was something she spoke of frequently and shared willingly. During her years away, Nancy still spent her summers in Boyne City with her grandparents, Dale and Dorothy Liscum. The Liscums owned the Gaza Beach Resort on Lake Charlevoix, where Nancy and her family shared many happy times together.

For several summers during her high school years, she worked at the Boyne City Library.

In 1969, she moved back to Boyne City, and married Mike Fulkerson in 1972.

The two shared a love of both area art and local history, which they helped cultivate in others through the formation of some of the first local “interest groups” on these subjects. They were later divorced.

In her early twenties, Nancy resumed working at the library – a career that would span more than 35 years. During her tenure, the Boyne City Library became the Boyne District Library.

She loved her job as Reference Librarian. The position offered her the opportunity to assist others, and Nancy was tireless in her efforts to track down information.

She frequently went out of her way to help people pursue their interests and find answers to their questions.

In 1984, Nancy was integral in the formation, and became a charter member of the A.C.E. Genealogical Society- known today as the Charlevoix County Genealogical Society (CCGS).  She served as president for both societies from 1987 to 2002, as well as in other leadership positions within the group.

She enjoyed sharing her love of genealogy and assisted many people in tracing their family histories. Also an advocate for the preservation of local history, she served on the Boyne City Historical Commission for many years, as well as assisting with the efforts of the Charlevoix County History Preservation Society (CCHPS).

Nancy willing and graciously shared her expertise, materials, time and talents with anyone researching genealogy and/or local history.

With the help of the CCGS and the library, she established an extensive and unique local history collection, still housed at the Boyne District Library.

Her knowledge of both Boyne City and Charlevoix County history was an invaluable resource to the community- a loss that will be deeply felt and sorely missed by everyone.

Two of Nancy’s recent local history contributions were made to assist the Boyne City Main Street group in locating early local business information. Many of her findings were used to help create the Downtown Walking Tour, which was unveiled last summer.

Contributions of photographs from Nancy’s personal collection also proved invaluable to the current Wolverine-Dilworth Hotel restoration project. Two in particular depicted photographic details found nowhere else – assisting to accurately reproduce these portions of the hotel’s exterior.

It was Nancy’s personality, expertise, beautiful smile and her unselfish willingness to assist others which quickly endeared her to all who knew her.

Her passing has been deeply felt and her kindness and generosity will never be forgotten by her family, friends and former co-workers, as well as the countless individuals who she assisted over the years and the organizations in which she has held leadership positions and memberships with over the years.

The latter in particular will surely remember Nancy’s enthusiasm for “projects” that could be done to benefit and help raise funds, create further visibility or promote a goal.

Nancy was highly enthusiastic and was never without suggestions for a program idea or topic to look into further; a suggestion for a fund raiser activity which would allow the entire group to take part; or gatherings for the sole purpose of creating fun, friendship and a stronger sense of “community.”

Folks like this are hard to come by in any community. In Nancy we have truly lost “one of the good ones.”

Nancy is survived by her son, Joshua Fulkerson; grandsons Zachary Atchison, Jared Mathers, Joshua Fulkerson, Jr., Taylor Fulkerson, and Cody Fulkerson; a sister, Mary Spiewak; and a niece, Jill (Harper) Golembiowski.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Jack and Marian Harper; brothers, William and John Harper; two nephews, Roger and Mitchell Harper; and her Aunt, Lois (Liscum) Dexter.

There is no memorial or burial service planned at this time, although a memorial potluck to be held in Nancy’s honor at the Boyne City Eagles Hall, which Nancy considered as her “second home,” is planned for the spring of 2016.

An Open House to Celebrate Nancy’s Life, as well as her contributions to local history, genealogy and the local community will be held on Sunday, Oct. 25 from 2-4 p.m. at the Boyne District Library, 201 E. Main St. in Boyne City.

The event will be hosted by her friends, colleagues and co-workers who would like to make this a special time to celebrate Nancy’s wonderful life of giving and kindness.

The community is invited to come and share stories and memories of Nancy.

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