Obituary: Nancy Southard Congdon, served as Darien High School substitute

Nancy Southard Congdon, a fiercely intelligent and delightfully progressive wife, mother, grandmother and lifelong community service devotee, died peacefully in her sleep on Friday at her home in Orlando. She was 95.

Nancy was born on February 27, 1921 in Shaker Heights, Ohio to Walter and Alice Southard. She attended Green Mountain College in Poultney, Vermont before earning a bachelor of arts degree and being crowned May Queen at Case Western Reserve in 1942.

She met her husband, Sidney (Sid) Bishop Congdon, at Case Western Reserve, and the couple married in November of 1942.  They later moved to New York City where Sidney began his life-long career at Bankers Trust.

As a young mother of two living in Peter Cooper Village, Mrs. Congdon penned advice to mayoral candidate, Vincent Impellitteri, whose campaign budget was insufficient to finance his bid for office. She suggested that Mr. Impellitteri ask each homemaker in New York City to donate one dollar from her household’s budget to help finance his campaign. After acting on her suggestion and winning the mayoral office, Mr. Impellitteri offered to appoint Nancy Deputy Commissioner of Hospitals. Busy with her young family, Nancy respectfully declined the offer.    

In 1952, Nancy and Sid moved their growing family to Darien, Connecticut.  Among her many community roles, Nancy served as president of the Stamford Hospital Auxiliary, chairman of the Stamford Hospital Thrift Shop and was a member of the Board of Trustees at Stamford Hospital.

In addition to raising her six children, Nancy was a frequent substitute teacher at Darien High School and also chaired the American Cancer Society’s Annual Flower Ball, which in its day, was one of the largest fundraising efforts in New England. Always finding time to help others, she was known to make meals for families that had fallen on hard times, packing the food up and delivering it with all of her small children in tow.

   When Nancy and Sid retired to Orlando, Florida, Nancy continued her community service efforts. She served for three years as the first President of the Sand Lake Hospital Volunteer Auxiliary and later became a member of the Board of Directors at Sand Lake Hospital.

A life-long golfer herself, Nancy met professional golfer Scott Hoch when he was a young athlete on the PGA tour. After Scott married his wife Sally, they had two children, and Nancy became a second grandmother to them.  Nancy was Scott’s personal secretary for the last 25 years of her life. In her spare time, Nancy enjoyed needlepoint, smocking, golf,bridge and doting on her grandchildren.

Sid predeceased Nancy in 2001. Her children Nancy C. Sherson, Sidney B. Congdon III, Ann C. Sandbom, Celia C. Montgomery, Lisa C. Avison, Christopher R. Congdon, her sister Dr. Patricia Gourlay, her 15 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, and one great, great grandchild survive Nancy.

Celebrations of Nancy’s life are being planned in Orlando, Florida and in Darien, Connecticut.

Memorial contributions may be made to Orlando Health Foundation, 3160 Southgate Commerce Blvd., Suite #50, Orlando, Florida 32806(www.orlandohealthfoundation.com).  

— by the Family