BGSTA plans memorial bench for Nancy Lingeman

October 25, 2019
By Marcy Shortuse

■ BY MELISSA CSANK
Nancy Lingeman may be gone, but she has most definitely not been forgotten by the many people whose lives she touched.
The Boca Grande Sea Turtle Association (BGSTA) has chosen to honor her memory and service to the island with a bench and plaque overlooking the sea turtle sculpture and flag at the front of the Community Center.
Nancy lived her life in service to the Boca Grande community, and in doing so inspired many. Nancy’s contributions over the years ranged from starting an Island after-school reading program to helping with Community Center activities like the Halloween parade and Easter egg hunt, to volunteering at the Johann Fust Community Library, and included serving on the board of many Island concerns, such as the Historical Society and the Child Care Center.
But Nancy’s real passion was the Island and its natural beauty and wildlife. For many years she monitored nesting shore birds on Boca Grande as a volunteer for Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). She was the point person for wildlife rescue on the Island, and she thought nothing of loading up her car with an injured fox or shorebird and shuttling it to The Wildlife Center of Venice for treatment. In 2013, Nancy co-founded the BGSTA and was a critical component in its success.
“Nancy was a great person and a wonderful friend. She was the first person who introduced Karl to sea turtles so many years ago, which turned into a lifelong passion,” said Sharon Knapp. “As Nancy’s health failed, she had to give up some of her favorite activities, such as turtle patrolling and wildlife rescue, but she was always generous with her knowledge and remained the ‘go-to’ person on the Island for the next generation of volunteers,” and continued much of her volunteer service until her death on March 4, 2018.
“I can’t think of a more deserving person than Nancy to have a bench at the Community Center,” said Grace Harvey. “When it involved volunteering or helping others, whether human or wildlife, Nancy was there. The word ‘no’ was not in her lexicon.”
The BGSTA coordinated and provided all funds for the bench and memorial plaque, and it will be placed at the Community Center, where it can be an asset to the community, as Nancy always was.
If you would like to contribute to the Nancy Lingeman memorial fund, you can send a check made out to:
BGSTA, P.O. Box 478, Boca Grande, FL. Contributions are tax-deductible.
As Albert Pike said, “What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal.”
Nancy was a true friend of Boca Grande. The Boca Grande Sea Turtle Association is proud that Nancy is being honored in this way, truly a worthy recipient.