Nancy P. Kibler, age 88, of Wellston, passed away Friday, Aug. 23, 2019, at her home. She was born prematurely at home to William Arvel Hampton and Nancy Louise Wells Hampton in Lee City, Kentucky on April 1, 1931, weighing nearly 3 lbs. Nancy’s great-grandmother told everyone that preemies didn’t live past the age of 40. Guess great-grandma was wrong!
Nancy started public school, at the age of 6, in the second grade because she could already read and write. In 1948, she graduated from Middletown High School, where she was her class Valedictorian. Nancy continued her education by attending Otterbein College, and in 1952, she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Physical Education and Biology. That same year, Nancy was chosen by her peers as the Otterbein Homecoming Queen. To complete her formal education, she earned a Masters of Arts and Education from the College of Mt. St. Joseph in August of 1985.
Nancy began her teaching career in the fall of 1967 when she became the Physical Education and Health teacher at Wellston High School. She continued in that capacity until her retirement in 1993, following 26 years of teaching. Nancy established the first girls’ athletic program at WHS, and in March of 1998, she was inducted into the Wellston High School Hall of Fame in recognition of that accomplishment. The first girls’ team competed in track and field in the spring of 1973. That same year, she also developed an intramural program in basketball to build the skill levels to compete against other schools. Nancy went on to start and coach volleyball, gymnastics and softball teams. In 1979, the WHS softball team went to the Ohio High School Regional Finals before being defeated. Nancy also served as the girls’ athletic director for 10 years. The new softball field at Wellston High School is named in her honor, the Nancy Kibler Field.
Throughout the years, Nancy was involved in several organizations, clubs and activities. For a number of years, she was the leader of a Cadette Girl Scout troop, where she enjoyed the rigors of tent camping and other Scout activities. Nancy’s favorite hobby was sewing. She was an excellent seamstress and could sew anything; winter coats, bathing suits, complete outfits, curtains, bed covers, and even reupholstered sofas and chairs. Nancy loved playing bridge and euchre and was a member and hostess at times of several card clubs, as well as book clubs. Nancy was a member and Elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Wellston. She was also a member of the Jackson County Chapter of the Ohio Retired Teachers Association, where she served as the chapter’s treasurer for several years.
Nancy is survived by her children, Julie Kibler of Columbus, Jill Kibler White (Terry) of Fairfield, Melanie Kibler Pitzer of Hillsboro, and Scott Kibler (Stephanie) of Florida; grandchildren, Amanda Kibler Runion (JR), Justin Kibler (Itzell), Jon White, Peter White, Gabrielle Pitzer and Samantha Pitzer Nartker (Bryce); great-grandchildren, Hadley Runion, Ruby Kibler and Lucia Kibler; sisters, Faye Smith, Vivian James (Bob) and Judy Pressler (Frank); along with nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends.
Besides her parents, Nancy was preceded in death by her husband of nearly 44 years, Lawrence Frederick Kibler in 1997. A memorial service will be held Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at 11 a.m. at the McWilliams Funeral Home in Wellston with John Pelletier, CLP officiating. Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. Private burial will be in the Ridgewood Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions in Nancy’s name be given to the Jackson County Chapter of the Retired Teachers Association Scholarship Fund; c/o Diane Blankenship, Treasurer, 354 Pleasant Grove Road, Jackson, Ohio 45640. Online condolences can be given to the family at www.mcwilliams-funeralhome.com.