Nancy Wilson Lyford, 72, died on Sept, 26, 2023 at home in O’Brien after a long illness. Nancy was born Dec. 26, 1950 in Plainfield, N.J. to Joseph and Elizabeth Wilson. She grew up in Upper Montclair, N.J. In March 1970 she gave birth to twin boys, Gregory and Derek Hook. In 1976 Nancy moved with her boys to the Davis area of California. She worked in the UC Davis Chancellor’s Office and also attended college part-time graduating Magna Cum Laude from Sacramento State University with a BA degree in psychology in 1991. She is the only one in her family to get a college degree.
Nancy and Gordon met in Davis in 1984 and they married in 1986. After college Nancy worked as the Yolo County homeless coordinator for the mentally ill at Haven House and Safe Harbor Crisis House. In 1992, a few years after the boys graduated from Davis High School, Nancy and Gordon moved to O’Brien, Ore. Nancy opened the Infant Care Center at the Illinois Valley High School in 1993 and worked for Project Baby Check at the Siskiyou Clinic. She retired in 1998 due to health issues. During this work she met many friends and learned about the beautiful Illinois Valley.
Nancy was active in the community and treasured the environment including the creeks, rivers, mountains, flora and fauna. She helped name Our Mountain west of O’Brien, helped DEQ declare the North Fork Smith River as the first Outstanding Resource Waters in Oregon, worked on Earth Day cleanups, helped stop an ill-advised state prison, and joined with many citizens to fight a nefarious nickel mine.
Nancy enjoyed hiking, biking, swimming, camping, music, dancing, singing, and baking holiday cookies and pies.
Nancy dearly loved her mother, her boys, her three goddaughters, her brother and three sisters. She left a rich legacy of helping children and improving the environment.
Nancy is survived by Gordon, Gregory, brother Joe, sister Joann, and sister Jane. She was preceded in passing by her son Derek, sister Marian, and her parents.
A memorial celebration of life will be held at the Illinois Valley Funeral Directors in Cave Junction at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, 2023. Please come to share your memories of joy and service.
Robert G. Lowden, 74, of Selma, died Sept. 23, 2023 at his home. Arrangements with Illinois Valley Funeral Directors.