Alumna Nancy Getz’s Heidelberg friends and her Prospect Street neighbors gathered on campus Monday to honor the memory of their dear friend. They dedicated a tree in her honor in front of Seiberling Gymnasium, a building where she and husband Jim spent many, many hours.
Nancy passed away in March after battling cancer. Whether on her daily walk through campus with Jim or serving her alma mater as the secretary of the Fellows Organization for nearly a quarter century, Nancy had infinite love for Heidelberg and spread her vibrant and positive attitude wherever she went.
Ashley Helmstetter worked closely with Nancy in her role as director of alumni engagement and annual giving. She remembered her first impression of Nancy: “I thought, wow, does that woman have ‘Berg fever -- and really cute shoes!”
“Really, she was much, much more,” Helmstetter said. “If not for her unwavering support, the Fellows Organization would not be the strong fundraising organization that it is today.”
It was fitting, Helmstetter said, that the memorial tree was planted in front of Seiberling Gymnasium. During long tenure as athletic director at Heidelberg, the couple spent a great deal of time there in support of ‘Berg athletics and student-athletes.
Jim also said the location of the tree was meaningful. “Nancy’s heart was in this building and at Heidelberg. … It was part of our life.”
Neighbor Bernie Hohman, ’63, collected a series of memories of Nancy from the tight-knit Prospect Street neighborhood. They used terms like “great neighbor,” “super mom and super woman,” “always smiling” and “she loved a party” to describe her.
“She was loved by all in the crowd,” said Bonnie Boroff. Former Krout Elementary School Principal Ron Ruffing added,
“Nancy was always a positive person. Her glass was always half full, not half empty.”
Following the reading of a poem by Dr. Kathryn Venema, Helmstetter closed the ceremony with this sentiment: “Nancy’s positive, can-do attitude left a lasting impression on her neighbors and friends – and the members of the Heidelberg community. May this tree continue to grow as a lasting reminder of Nancy’s legacy.”