Life Story / Obituary
As her family and friends can surely attest, Nancy Boudreaux truly understood the secret to a life well lived. Nothing brought Nancy greater joy than spending time with her loved ones. She was always willing to serve those around her, and she was well known for her spirit of kindness and generosity. Dearly loved, Nancy will be forever missed by those who knew her best.
It was great to be an American during the decade that we commonly recall as the Roaring Twenties. Motion pictures became available in both color and sound, and since the creation of the assembly line made cars more affordable they became part of the lives of everyday Americans in growing numbers. It was during this exciting time that Nancy Lee Sipe was born on May 20, 1926, in Oak Park, Illinois.
Growing up, Nancy was a typical young girl of her generation in many ways. She had two siblings, including her older half-brother, Paul Clancey “Bud” Sipe, and her younger brother, Paul Clinton Sipe, Jr. Much of Nancy’s childhood was spent in the care of her paternal grandparents. One of her aunts lived with them as well, along with the chimpanzee she had brought home from the mission field, named Coocoo. Nancy loved playing with the chimp, and she also enjoyed walking into town with her grandfather to get ice cream on Sundays. She began her education in Belmont, Illinois, before the family moved to Wheaton to settle into a large farmhouse on several acres. The space allowed Nancy to fulfill a lifelong dream of having a horse of her own.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Nancy as she left high school to enter the workforce during WWII. She began working as a typist and as a filing clerk for the Department of Immigration in Chicago. During this time, Nancy also began writing letters to soldiers fighting in the war. She was given the name of a soldier to write to, but as he was engaged, he ended up passing Nancy’s name to his friend, Ivy Jay Boudreaux. Nancy and Ivy began exchanging letters, and it did not take long for their relationship to blossom into something truly wonderful. He proposed to her through a letter, but she wanted to meet in person before agreeing. Two years later, Ivy came to Illinois on leave, and he and Nancy were finally able to meet face-to-face. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Nancy and Ivy were married in the orchard on the farm in July of 1945. The newlyweds then took a honeymoon to Jennings, Louisiana, so that Nancy could meet Ivy’s family.
All who knew Nancy can surely agree that, of all the things she loved in life, she valued her relationships. For their first few years together, she and Ivy lived in Louisiana, then moved to Wheaton to be closer to her family. Nancy and Ivy were overjoyed to welcome their three children, Michael, Randy, and Sandy, into their hearts and home. The three children were very close in age. Nancy dedicated herself to caring for her children, her husband, and her home. She liked to be very neat and organized, and she thrived when operating under a routine. Nancy was also frugal and would cut coupons so that she could be more careful with her money. She worked tirelessly to care for her family. Later in life, Nancy was overjoyed to become a grandmother and even a great-grandmother. She adored her grandchildren and doted on them whenever she could. Nancy always considered herself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
Throughout her life, Nancy lived in a variety of places. Ivy’s job took him around the country, and once their children were grown up the two would set up a home for themselves wherever he found work. Nancy embraced her nomadic lifestyle with open arms, though she did have a 52-volume set of beloved Zane Grey books that she carried from place to place along with her. Once Ivy retired, they settled down in Colorado City, Colorado, to be near Nancy's sons. However, when Ivy’s health began to suffer in 1997, they decided to move to Grand Rapids to live with their daughter, Sandy, who helped with his care. Nancy was devastated by the loss of her husband in 2001, but she was always thankful to have had so many precious years with him. She later returned to Colorado Springs to live with her son, Randy, caring for him during the last years of his life. She eventually returned to Grand Rapids, settling back in with Sandy. In the last months of her life, she was welcomed into the life of Sandy's husband, Jim, as well as his entire family. Together, they lovingly provided care and support in Nancy's last months.
Nancy pursued many hobbies to stay busy in her free time. She enjoyed gardening and nursing her tulips and lily of the valley. Nancy was an avid reader all throughout her life. She especially loved reading Christian novels, Western and prairie novels as well as her Bible. Nancy liked birdwatching and seeing butterflies. All of her life, Nancy had an inordinate love of horses and enjoyed horseback riding whenever the opportunity arose. She was always an active member of the church and strong in her faith.
When reflecting on the life of Nancy Boudreaux, it is easy to see both her desire to live for God and her unconditional love for all of her close relationships. She was known for her solid work ethic and for the faith that formed the unshakeable foundation of all that she did. A loving wife and mother, Nancy was dedicated to caring for those around her. Her heart of service allowed her to touch the lives of countless others. Even as she became more physically limited, she showed her care for others with her consistent prayers for them. Though she will be deeply missed, Nancy leaves behind a priceless legacy that her loved ones will be proud to carry on in her footsteps.
Nancy Lee Boudreaux, age 96, went home to be with her Lord and Savior on January 22, 2023. She was preceded in death in 2001 by her beloved husband of 55 years, Ivy Jay Boudreaux; her son, Randy Boudreaux in 2016; and her granddaughter, Ashley Lane Sumner. Nancy is survived by her son, Michael Boudreaux; daughter and son-in-law Sandy (Jim) Uhe; 21 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren. A private service to remember and celebrate her life will be held. Cremation has taken place and she will be interred alongside her son in Evergreen Cemetery in Colorado Springs.