Nancy Lee, the eldest daughter of Robert H. Covert and Eva May Yochem, born Dec. 1, 1942 at St. John’s General Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, left on her next adventure on Tuesday, January 3, 2017. (Her daughter adds here that 2017 is a prime number, so she left in the prime of her life).
Educated at Perry High School, the University of Pittsburgh, Big Bend Community College and Central Washington University, she graduated in 1978 from CWU in the newly minted University’s first class that August, eager to begin her new career as a Reporter.
Thanks to the encouragement of Dave Johnson, BBCC’s Public Relations Coordinator and founder of the Grant County Journal Nancy followed the Journalist’s trail—or as Robert Frost wrote, “the road less traveled” for the next 30 years, working primarily on northwest community newspapers from Moses Lake to Spokane, to Priest River, Idaho; back to Washington for the Bainbridge Review, Island Sportsline, Market Times, then to Olympia as Editor/PR Spokesperson for the Washington State Grange.
She relocated to Steilacoom and embarked on a different phase of her writing career, becoming involved in many other aspects of writing, serving as PR Spokeswoman for the Town of Steilacoom as well as Editor of Around Town.
When voters approved I-695, a piece of legislation they believed would “save money!” Nancy switched her allegiance and considerable writing skills to the Steilacoom Historical School District as its first Media Relations Coordinator.
During a 10-year-period Nancy had the opportunity to teach future Journalism students in elementary, middle and high school classes. Her memberships in Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce, Steilacoom Historical Museum Association, as well as the Grange and numerous other historical societies in the area, provided her with an opportunity to increase her knowledge and understanding about Washington State History. Although years earlier she had vowed that she’d be true to Pennsylvania, after more than 50 years in the Pacific Northwest where she raised her sons and daughter, she decided that, “Washington was her home.”
Besides the opportunity to be deeply involved in a variety of activities in the Town on the Sound, she partnered with two other local writers, producing a comprehensive school district history book, and children’s story about “Mrs. Orr’s Pear Tree.” She also had stories published in three anthologies and one novel.
After retiring in 2010 Nancy continued to Freelance for numerous publication such as The Suburban Times (952 stories), and Columbia History Magazine.
When she moved from Steilacoom to Lakewood—after 20 years in the town—she embarked on extensive research for another history book about the towns around American Lake: Lake City and Tillicum.
Her resume, while not extensive, is full of journalistic achievements, and only begins to summarize some of the many adventures she enjoyed after deciding to follow “the road less traveled.”
Nancy’s children include Steven Wolff, Jenny Holmstrom-Wolff (and Jay), and Jeffrey Wolff, two grandchildren Korey Holmstrom and Jasmyn Holmstrom, sisters Roberta Jean Anderson, Dorothy Sue Mackovich, and Margaret Elizabeth Grajcar, numerous nieces and nephews and many friends.
At Nancy’s request there will be no memorial service. Keep asking Questions and Get the Facts!, she reminds those she leaves behind. Hopefully she now knows the answer to Life’s Biggest Questions. WHO AM I? WHAT AM I DOING HERE? In the meantime, get busy learning about history.