Nancy McColloch Andrews
1930 — 2013
Nancy McColloch Andrews passed away in Glenwood Gardens on Thursday, Sept. 19, after a lengthy illness. She was a long-time resident of Stallion Springs.
Nan was born to Nancy and Leland McColloch on June 2, 1930, in Pasadena. She graduated from South Pasadena San Marino High School and from UCLA where she received a degree in Fine Arts and was a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority.
Nan began her career as an airline stewardess for United Airlines. On July 28, 1956, she met and married her husband, Ted, on Balboa Island. Nan was an accomplished artist, an astute business woman, an avid golfer, a loving wife, mother and grandmother and a loyal, caring friend to many.
How? Was the question I asked myself, when I sat down to write this. I wanted to write this, I wanted to do this…but how?
This person, this…outlook, spirit and, I daresay, experience of a woman.. How do I reduce her life to words? It seemed like an insult to do so. I supposed that the first thing to ask was…who was she? The answer in words, of course, seems insufficient.
My grandmother was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and dear friend to many. And, at one time, she was also a cherished sister and daughter. But then again, she was so much more than these facts.
And in all of those things, and in all of those occupations (including that of a stewardess, seamstress, costume designer and Radio City usher,) she was an artist.
She has always been an artist. I am proud of her title. And all of the sudden those six letters (A-R-T-I-S-T) seem too dull and weak of a descriptor.
Anyone who knows her – anyone who knew Nan…knew her art. I always fondly called her my Kinkade. Except Kinkade was a coward in comparison. Kinkade favored pastels…but my Nanny breathed art to life with red and orange and blues, as deep and vibrant as she desired. I sit here, out of words, and I see her last painting – one with an unfinished corner. It’s a painting of a forest; deep with the autumn trees transition.
It reminded me of a poem, that now I hold all the more dear:
“Nature's first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf's a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”
― Robert Frost
My grandmother’s soul was made of gold.
No one will tell you different.
It’s true that she had her bad days, or sometimes bad weeks, maybe she even had bad years. But a wise man once told me, “Life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don't always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don't necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant.”
This same man told me another piece of (unintentional) advice.
Upon seeing a small child crying silently, he said, “It bothers me, a child crying silently. I mean, children cry because they want attention. 'Cause they're hurt or afraid. When they cry silently it's 'cause they just can't stop and they know that there’s no one and nothing that can help.”
It occurred to me while I was grieving, that this man was partially wrong. We are all children when we grieve. The thing is, our hearts know more than our minds do. Our minds ask, "Why am I weaping with such sound?" We can do nothing about this, nothing to change this!
But our hearts say there is something we can do about this. There is something we can do.
We can keep the memories of her laughter, of her teachings, of the way she loved life.
We can keep her soul of gold. We can carry it, inside us, next to our newly lonely hearts. And we can use it, to touch others, and help them see things with the vibrant reds, and oranges and blues that she did.
We love you Nanny. We always will.
— By Rachel Andrews, Granddaughter
She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Thomas McColloch. She is survived by her husband of 57 years, Ted, three sons, Scott and wife, Vickie Andrews, Todd and wife, Brenda Andrews of Bakersfield, Brad and wife, Connie Andrews of Houston, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held in Stallion Springs on Sunday, Sept. 29.