January 20, 1932 - January 27, 2019
Viewing: Nancy will lie in state on Thursday, January 31, 2019 beginning 9:00 a.m. with a visitation 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at Thompson’s Harveson and Cole Funeral Home.
Memorials: Donations may be made to the Humane Society of North Texas, Inc. or to the charity of your choice.
Nancy Wilson-Webb, 87, died Sunday, January 27, 2019.
Nancy Wilson Webb, dedicated, most respected educator, her dedication was her avocation and vocation. She was born on January 20, 1932 to Madison Wise Wilson and Mary Nancy (Haney) Pearson Wilson in Maypearl, Ellis County, Texas. Nancy was a sixth generation Ellis County Texan. Her great-great maternal grandparents Benjamin and Leticia Clay Bedford came to Midlothian area (Mt. Pleasant Valley) in 1843. Her maternal ancestors, Thomas Ligon came to Jamestown in 1609 from Madresfield Court, England. Her Ligon ancestry included signers of the Magna Charta. Both her maternal and fraternal ancestors sat in the House of Burgesses. Her maternal uncle, four times removed, was Henry Clay, the statesmen from Kentucky. Nancy became actively involved in the Jamestown Society, Magna Charta Society, Daughters of the American Revolution and the Ligon Family Ancestry of England.
Nancy was a very studious person graduating from Maypearl High School as Valedictorian. In 1949, she was recognized as the most outstanding student in high school, earning awards as a senior in music, reading, history, English, literacy and math. While in high school she also entered the state music contest in piano and received blue ribbons for her performances of classical music. She taught piano while a student in Maypearl. She graduated from Abilene Christian University in 1953 Magna Cum Laude. While attending college she was a beauty runner up, member of Zeta Sorority and Phi Beta Kappa and “W” club. In 1985 she earned her master’s degree in school administration from TCU with high honors.
She began teaching in 1953 in Fort Worth ISD in music, art and social studies for gifted and talented students at Oakhurst and Westcliff Elementary and J.P. Moore Elementary and later English as a second language. Nancy worked as an Administrator for 20 years. She was so well respected that parents sought her out for their children. Her cooperative direction of Adult Basic Ed of 42 school districts with Ft. Worth ISD as the prime sponsor. Her passion and dedication to literacy led her to complete 47 years in school education, 20 as a teacher and 27 as an administrator. Her administration had 30,000 students under her curriculum. Nancy was recognized numerous times for her commitment to education locally, state and nationally. Among the local awards, Nancy was recognized by AAW International, Alpha Delta Kappa, City of Fort Worth by having a day named in her honor, Tarrant County Commissioners Council, Alpha Delta Kappa, Fort Worth Literacy Council, Daughters of the American Revolution, Star Telegram as the most outstanding educator in Fort Worth in 1994, Rotary Club, Optimist Club, Chamber of Commerce, Salvation Army, Foreign Affairs at TCU and Community Action Agency. Nancy’s enthusiasm was to see the dropout rate for schools eradicated. Every student should become functionally literate throughout the state and nationally was her motto. She became known as the Mother of Adult Basic Education at the state level because of her determination to gain funding for literacy at state and national levels, working directly with Senator Nelson, Gov. Ann Richards, Gov. George Bush, Speaker of the House Jim Wright, Rep. Tom Vandergriff, Rep. Mike Moncrief and Speaker of the House Gib Lewis.
The National Commission on Education selected her as the most outstanding Administrator in 1998 after she had served as President. Nancy also served as President of the Texas Association of Adult Literacy. The City of Fort Worth recognized her as the most outstanding educator in the city in 1995. Her devotion to literacy led her to recapture and publicly receive the Award of Woman of the Year of Fort Worth. Nancy was selected by the Fort Worth Star Telegram as the most outstanding woman in Tarrant County in education making her Woman of the Year. Nancy established 30 adult literacy learning centers in a six county area, the first such centers in the state and was honored and featured in the Star Telegram. Her ability to lobby for adult basic education and literacy funds led her to being appointed by Governor Ann Richards as her liaison to the Texas adult education agency. She was also appointed by the Texas Education Agency to serve on a task force as a liaison between the State School Boards and the Texas Education Agency. Following her 47 years in service in the schools she continued her work with the Fort Worth Literacy Council, serving as chair for 20 years. This organization provided over 300 scholarships for college to the disadvantaged GED students in Tarrant County. Through her efforts over 300 students received scholarships to continue college. Her legacy is to have a scholarship for all the disadvantaged students that desire an education but cannot afford one. She was named the most outstanding administrator in the US by the Commission on Adult Basic Education in 1999. In 1993 Nancy was selected by the US Dept. of Education to be a fellow guest educator of the West German Government, studying and evaluating at 22 different universities while in Germany in 1985. In 1993 the Department of Labor selected her programs under Ft. Worth ISD as the most outstanding in the U.S. In 1995 the US Department of Education selected her curriculum, professionals and volunteer as the most outstanding in the U.S. She was presented the award in Washington DC by the US Sec. of Education.
Also following simultaneously with this endeavor was her passion for animals. Following the death of her parents, she owned and managed their family ranch. She was the sixth generation in family ranching to have a ranch in Ellis County living in Fort Worth. Her passion for animals, her beloved cattle, was a refreshing outlet for her. Having never lived on a ranch she often remarked that she did better with educational directing than the cattle behavior.
Her family ranch was near the town of Maypearl where her parents business was when she was a student. She had a special love for her hometown and kept her childhood home as a secondary home.
Nancy was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ. Her fraternal and maternal ancestor can be traced back to this same faith to the late 1600’s. Her current membership is with Southside Church of Christ. She won awards for education, her volunteerism, ranching, art, music, home decorating, antiques, gardening and author. Her interest in landscape and design led her to numerous awards for her home landscape. The collection of antiques and the design of her home in Fort Worth with her husband were in local and national magazines. The home in Fort Worth with her late husband was always treasured because of the design and art history. She and her husband had many travel interests, particularly historic and nature venues. She loved the reward of compassion for others. This kept her motivated even in times of stage 4 cancer. Her love for literacy led her to thoughts of becoming a part of the State Board of Educators, but stage 4 cancer in 1994 put those thoughts on hold, although she continued her job as co-op director of Adult Education in 42 school districts and on the many boards she served. Her lessened strength, with the loss of one eye, vocal chords, Crohn’s disease and neuropathy was challenging following chemotherapy. Nancy was a lifelong democrat and had been a local, state and national delegate to conventions. Her interest in politics ran deep which led her to lobby for literacy at state and national levels. Also, she volunteered with the state judge to give citizenship ceremonies for foreign immigrants swearing in some 100 individuals after passing English Citizenship. She was recognized by Daughters of the American Revolution.
Throughout President Lyndon Johnson’s political career she was a friend to the Johnson family attending his Inauguration and the Inauguration Ball. She also worked with First Lady Barbara Bush on her literary efforts. Being very resourceful she became known in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s as the “Mother of Adult Education” due to her dedication of funding at state and national levels and following through with programs recognized nationwide. She also served as national president of the national commission of adult literacy. She was recognized by the US Dept. of Education as having the most outstanding curriculum program in the Adult Education in the US. She was recognized in Washington DC by the Secretary of Education for her outstanding work with a large plaque in the Fort Worth ISD School admin building. Her ability to coordinate and negotiate led her to be appointed by the Texas Education Agency as liaison to the State Board. In 1989, she was appointed to the State Literacy Board by then Speaker of the House Gib Lewis. She was also recognized in the publication of Who’s Who of Education in the US., Who’s Who in the Women in the US., Who’s Who in the South and Who’s Who in the World and in 2017 as lifelong educator. Not only did she serve these professional organizations in Fort Worth, she served as president of TCU Fine Arts, Fort Worth Civic Club Counsel , Fort Worth Conservation Council, Woman’s Club of Fort Worth Aquarius Department, Salvation Army, Fort Worth Community Theatre, Junior Woman’s Club and the Ft. Worth Opera Guild . She served on the board of the Fort Worth Garden Club, Jewel Charity Ball, Phi Delta Kappa, Alpha Delta Kappa, Tarrant County Historical Society, Community Action Agency, Fort Worth Library Board, City of Fort Worth Commission on Women and Fort Worth Opera Assoc. Nancy was also nominated to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame. She was a board member of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and served as chair of the nabost teen pageant, The United Way where she chaired the annual luncheon and The Ft. Worth Lecture Foundation. From the late 90’s through 2010 Nancy wrote education curriculum for textbooks and work texts for Glenco-McGraw Hill addressing adult basic education.
As a secondary job, Nancy modeled and lectured on proper dress for teens in high school, college and proper attire for business in the 60’s,70’s for department stores in Dallas and Ft. Worth.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Mary and Madison Wilson, her husband John Crawford Webb and many beloved pets.