In Memory

Nancy Reid (Lawson)

Nancy Reid (Lawson)

Nancy Jane Reid passed away peacefully and comfortably on September 25, 2015 with her close family at her side.

Nancy Jane was born August 8, 1951 in Fort Worth, Texas, and went to college at the University of Texas in Austin where she majored in photojournalism. She was drawn to the desert of Big Bend, Texas where she thrived on hard light and deep canyons. She lived in the ghost town of Terlingua and guided Rio Grande river trips with Far Flung Adventures. At the Chihuahuan Desert Research Institute in Alpine, Texas she joined up with her future husband, Pete. Together they traveled in Mexico, camping at the base of 500-foot cliffs studying and photographing Maroon-fronted Parrots and Peregrine Falcons.

Nancy Jane moved with Pete to Pocatello, Idaho where he went to graduate school while she ran rivers and explored outer and inner worlds with her cameras and darkroom. They married in 1982 and their son, Alex, was born in 1986.

In 1987 they moved to Newport, far from the crisp light and desert vistas that she loved. Nevertheless, Nancy Jane jumped right in and became an integral member of our community, touching many lives with her passionate energy. She was deeply involved in local theater as actor (Truvy in Steel Magnolias) and photographer. For 10 years she managed the Visual Arts Center bringing in shows from national artists and teaching Art Mondays/Tuesdays kid’s art classes. Everyone in Newport has seen Nancy Jane’s photos in the News-Times, on posters and publicity brochures, and exhibits in galleries around town. She excelled at “capturing the moment” at the play, the concert, the wedding, or the Oregon Coast Jazz Party. On top of that, she still found time to swim at the pool, sing in the Central Coast Chorale, and donate her time to Altrusa. She seemed to be everywhere and know everyone.

Beneath it all, Nancy Jane was deeply curious and found constant delight in the world’s mysteries, from the grand and philosophical to the small and seemingly mundane. Her “sense of absurdity,” as she called it, allowed her to remain doggedly positive in the face of great adversity. Everyone around her has found inspiration in her strength and perspective, and we will continue to learn from her for a long time to come.

She is survived by her husband Peter Lawson, her son Alex Lawson, her sister Ellen, brothers Brian and Robert, nieces Rebecca and Allison, and nephews Michael and Stephen. 

There will be a Celebration of Life at the Performing Arts Center on Halloween, October 31 from 3:00 to 5:30. Costumes and absurdity are welcome.

Remembrances in her name should go to the Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, Visual Arts Center, Youth Art Program. 

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11/12/15 06:20 PM #1    

Kathy Alexander

Rest in peace sweet Nancy.                                           




Kathy Alexander

11/13/15 01:42 PM #2    

Dub Ambrose

Nancy was one of the first friends I made when I transferred (with some of my buddies) to McLean Junior High after we completed St. Andrew's Catholic School.

Nancy and I connected through music, more specifically, folk music, more specifically, Peter, Paul & Mary.  She had a beautiful, silken voice and was strong and, along with her lovely blonde hair, easily reminded me of Mary Travers herself.  We got together just to sing some tunes and found our voices blended pretty well.  And, though there were only two of us, we decided to enter the Talent Show and sing our rendition of PP&M's "Stewball."

Well, Nancy was AWESOME and we were awarded for our number. Though we sang a bit more after that event, we kind of went our own ways musically.  But, I will never forget how gracious and fun she was and her willingness to take a chance to sing in public with me.

God's Blessings on Nancy and on all of her family and friends. 




11/14/15 10:31 AM #3    

Cathy Munson (Ambrose)

Nancy also inspired me in our teen years... at PHS and Camp El Tesoro. I not only admired her talent and intellegence but also her sincerity and love for nature. She was unique and real..something we were all trying to figure out how to do at the time. Our freshman year at UT we were on the same floor at Jester. We were in and out of each others' rooms often and discused many topics. She explained to me what it meant to be a hippie....wanting  Love, Peace, and Harmony for the whole planet!  So I joined right in ..."No war, no makeup, no bra, no pretense, no nonsence!  She was a quite a gal! I imagine heaven with her fully enjoying freedom and intimacy with her creator and his creations!   -Cathy

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