Nancy Jane Garhart

Nancy Jane Garhart, 83, of Garden City, died Sunday, May 17, 2020, in BelAire, Kansas, due to complications from a stroke. She was born on May 12, 1937, in Omaha, Nebraska under the name Sandra Lee, the name given to her by her birth mother. She spent the first few months in the Children’s Home Society awaiting adoption. On July 18th, 1937, she received a visit from Edgar (Ace) Hull and Olya Pearl (Kendall) Hull who fell in love with their small boned, dainty Nancy. Nancy Jane was officially adopted on March 14, 1938. As an only child, Nancy felt blessed her entire life to have such devoted and loving parents. The family moved often with her father’s job until she was 5 and then they settled in McPherson, Kansas so she could start school. She graduated from McPherson High School in 1955.


After attending one year of college, Nancy married her high school boyfriend, Dr. C. Kent Garhart and they eventually moved to Manhattan, Kansas, so he could complete his education and raise their two daughters. He preceded her in death in 2007 after 51 years of marriage.


Nancy was a homemaker while the girls were growing up and then sought various work experiences. Through her life she developed an interest in working with struggling youth, most of which were teens. She worked in the Junction City High School, Ellsworth Boys Home and fancied herself as a Grandma to all. She also had a talent for crafts and antiques which led her to own a craft store, manage an antique store, and become a voracious collector of bears. Nancy was a member of Beta Sigma Phi for many years and enjoyed the fellowship of her United Methodist Sunday school class. After taking some special training, she became a Stephens Minister, a role she was extremely proud to fill within the church. One of her latest endeavors was assisting the Finney County Humane Society. Along with her husband, Nancy sought to find the funding to help build a new facility for her furry friends. Nancy’s passion for dogs and their safety was beyond reproach, especially those who often were overlooked. Her home was filled with the sounds of barks and wagging tails until the end.


She is survived by her two daughters, Dosha Fritz and her husband Jim, of Eugene, Ore., and Sheri Nelson of Tumwater, Wash.; four grandchildren, Jacob Fritz of Phoenix, Ariz., Ted Nelson and his wife, Kate, of Overland Park, Ks., Travis Nelson of Seattle, Wash., and Natalie Nelson Reider and her husband, Matt, of Salt Lake City, Utah; and her first great grandchild, Clyde Soren Nelson, son of Ted & Kate Nelson.


A celebration of life will be scheduled at a later date through the First United Methodist Church of Garden City, Kansas when it is allowable to assemble as a faith family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to First United Methodist Church, 1106 N Main St., Garden City, KS, 67846 or Finney County Humane Society, 124 N Fleming St., Garden City, KS, 67846.