Nancy Ellen Pais of Oxford, Michigan and Boca Grande passed away peacefully at home on October 22, 2022. At the time of her passing she found comfort in being at her beloved farm in Oxford, surrounded by the people and the gardens that she so treasured.
The daughter of Tom and Ellen Bateman, Nancy was born in Lapeer, Michigan on February 2, 1934, and attended Michigan State University, graduating in 1955. After receiving her degree in food science, Nancy worked at Royal Oak Beaumont Hospital.
She believed what we eat can directly impact our long-term health, a view that was very forward thinking for that time. Everything in Nancy’s kitchen was fresh from the garden and always made from scratch. Nancy and her beloved husband, Donald A. Pais, were married in Grand Rapids on August 16, 1958, and lived in Royal Oak for a time.
They soon moved to Lake Orion, where they built their first dream home, a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired dwelling surrounded by trees and overlooking Paint Creek. It was there that they raised their four children. Nancy was a loving mother who taught her children the value of nature and respect for the environment. There was always a vegetable garden and always a houseful of pets – dogs, cats and occasionally a snake or lizard. She even indulged the request for a pet mouse. Nancy was a fabulous entertainer, and she loved having guests in her home and making elaborate French feasts from the Joy of Cooking. She also loved classical music, and was a supporter of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as well the Great Lakes Chamber Music. Nancy was an avid reader, and she loved poetry, mysteries and children’s literature. She loved words and never missed a day of doing the NYT crosswords.That life-long love of reading led to 35 years of supporting the Boca Grande Library and the Oxford Library. Nancy was passionate about gardening and nature, and when she wasn’t filling her home with flowers from her extensive gardens, she could be found supporting nature with her many volunteer positions, such as at Seven Ponds nature center. She was also one of the original founders of the Boca Grande Garden Club and a long- standing member of the Oxford Garden Club.
Nancy was predeceased by her parents, Tom and Ellen. And her beloved cats, Mr. Vits, Caesar, and Caddy. She is survived by her husband Don and her children, Dan (Meg) Joe (Sue) Amy (Mark-Hans) and Dave, as well as her grandchildren, Dalton, Tom, Luke, Jacqueline, Alexa, Courtney and Cal and many nieces nephews, and friends. Many thanks to her loving caregivers.
The family requests that donations be made to the Oxford, Michigan Public Library and the Johann Fust Library Foundation.