Nancy Lee Seeley

June 14, 1918 – May 4, 2008

Long-time Grass Valley resident Nancy Lee Seeley passed away May 5 at the local Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital, at the age of 89. A Memorial Service for her will be held Saturday, May 24 at 2:00 pm at the United Methodist Church in Grass Valley. A Reception will follow, to be held in the fellowship hall of the church.

Nancy was born on June 14, 1918 to parents Lieutenant Oscar Dean and Virginia (Welter) Davidson at Omaha, Nebraska. Tragedy struck the family on March 16, 1919 when Lieutenant Davidson, U. S. Signal Corps, died in a storm-forced crash landing while on a pilot-training flight out of Ellington Field, Houston, Texas.

Nancy was raised by her mother and grandparents Charles K. and Mae (Sanford) Weller at the grandparents’ home in Omaha. Nancy was a remarkably precocious child, the family noted. An honors student through grade and high schools in Omaha, Nancy went on to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, earning a Masters Degree in Mathematics, graduating about 1940.

Both before and after graduation, Nancy was employed as a “University Mathematician” on R and D Projects in the fields of Naval aircraft ordnance and related systems ‹ work undertaken by the University under contract with the U. S. Navy Department. In time, the project (and various key people, including Nancy) were transferred by the Navy Department to the (then) Naval Ordnance Test Station at China Lake, California. Nancy arrived in 1945, and was recognized as a very able mathematician. She became a skilled computer programmer also.

Nancy’s hobbies were Bridge (Life Master), logic puzzles, hand crafts (knitting in particular) and The Dance, be it Ballroom, Folk, Square or Round. On 19 October, 1953 Nancy and Walter Leonard Seeley (known as Leonard), an Aeronautical Engineer at the Station, were married in Las Vegas, Nevada. They continued square and round dancing as recreational activities, and in time became accredited Round Dance Teachers. Nancy retired from the (by then) Naval Weapons Center, China Lake, in 1972-Leonard in 1974. They moved to Grass Valley in 1977, purchasing a house on Kenwood Drive. They danced with the local square dance clubs for many years, Nancy cueing and teaching the round dances.

Nancy was a member of the Captain John Oldham Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a member of the Anna Howard Shaw Circle of the United Methodist Church. She will be sorely missed, and her memory treasured forever.

She is survived by her husband Leonard. She will be buried in the Webber family cemetery, Forest Lawn, in Omaha, Neb.

Published in the Grass Valley Union, Tuesday, May 20, 2008