Nan Cummings

A celebration of life for Nan Cummings was held Aug. 10 at the Hastings Funeral Home in Jefferson. The Rev. Steve Ransom, of the United Methodist Church in Grand Junction, provided words of comfort. 

Yvette Bardole was the pianist. A duet of “I’m on Top of the World” was performed by Brenda Roberts and Dick Bardole. Recorded song was “The Other Side.”

Following the service was a luncheon at the United Methodist Church in Grand Junction.

Nan Cummings, daughter of Henry Reitz Jr. and Katherine King Reitz, was born April 5, 1945, in Alliance, Neb., and passed away Aug. 3 at Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines. She was 74 years of age.

Nan’s family moved from Nebraska to Oakland, Calif., during her junior year in high school, where she graduated from Fremont High Oakland. She then completed cosmetology school and pursued her career as a cosmetologist in California.

Nan met a Grand Junction, Iowa, Navy man, Jack Cummings, who was stationed on Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. They married Jan. 10, 1965, in Oakland and Nan began supporting his military career, moving to different locations in the nation and creating comfortable homes for the family.

Their first daughter, Dannielle, was born in Key West, Fla., and later daughter Carrie was born in Norwich, Conn.

Jack was discharged in May of 1970 and the family “came home” to Grand Junction, where Nan immediately made her positive mark on Jack’s family and community. The couple built a new home where they have since resided.

Nan was known for her gracious, welcoming personality. She welcomed her girls’ friends with open arms, thus their home was a popular gathering place. It was made even nicer due to her great cooking skills. 

Nan was a woman of many talents. She baked and decorated wedding cakes for countless weddings as well as cakes for birthdays and graduations. She baked pies and did a tremendous amount of canning, often using produce from friends and neighbors, always sharing the final, delicious results. Nan crocheted, quilted, wallpapered and reupholstered, too. 

She willingly took requests and jobs, making the community happy along the way. She loved to work on wooden craft items, many of which can be seen at the Deal Orchard. Nan also was known for her alteration abilities and sewing gowns for bridesmaids and a wedding gown for her daughter, Carrie.

When she took on the joy of cake decorating, she also supported the bride with other aspects of the event. Often Dani assisted or lead the charge on decorating.

Nan was the ultimate homemaker, singing and dancing around their home. She loved her husband, girls and grandchildren with a passion.

Nan was well-loved in Grand Junction and enjoyed her friendships in Business Women, Coffee Club and the Browntown Birthday Club. Others enjoyed her beautiful flower garden, which brought her much comfort, especially in later times. Nan was grateful and proud to have been honored with a plaque for their beautiful flower garden. 

Her memory will be cherished by her husband, Jack, of Grand Junction; daughters Dannielle Cummings-Dayton, of West Des Moines, and Carrie Cummings, of Phoenix; adopted daughter Melissa Jafvert; four grandchildren: Catelyn Olivares (Carlos), Dylan Dayton (Kayla), Drake Dayton, Chace Cummings; and three great-grandchildren: Joaquin Olivares, Lillian Dayton and Jaxon Dayton; along with a multitude of friends and loved ones.

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Jefferson Bee & Herald
Address: 200 N. Wilson St.
Jefferson, IA 50129

Phone:(515) 386-4161