Nancy Slaven Reams
July 30, 1928 – July 31, 2019
Nancy Slaven Reams July 30, 1928 to July 31, 2019
Nancy Slaven Reams considered herself an Annapolitan even though she lived in many US Navy towns from her birth until her mid 30’s. Her father, Franklin Wilber (Red) Slaven, USNA Class of 25, married Anne Kathryn Redmond of Annapolis whose family lived on Duke of Gloucester Street. Anne’s father ran a drug store on West Street.
Nancy was born in Long Beach, CA, on July 30, 1928, where her father was serving as a naval officer. She moved to other Navy ports with her parents and two sisters, Sugar (Anne) and Jane. She lived in Annapolis during WW II while her father served in the North Atlantic. She graduated from Annapolis High, now Maryland Hall, and she attended both Hood College and then University of California Berkley, receiving an Associate of Arts degree. When she was 20, she married Benton Reams, USNA Class of 1948. Nancy and Benton lived in Mare Island, Honolulu, New London, Key West, Monterey, Norfolk, Portsmouth, NH, and San Diego among other places before settling for good in Maryland in 1964. In 1994, they moved from Bowie into Annapolis to occupy the house that was her parents’ and which she always considered to be home.
Nancy loved nature and in younger life expressed herself by gardening to restore natural woodland and native gardens and to represent nature through her watercolor paintings. She was motivated to preserve woodland and wild places because as a child she visited and stayed “up the river” at her grandparents’ “wilderness” camp in Epping Forest on the Severn River. She often recounted how she would leave their primitive houseboat early in the morning and escape into the woods to explore freely with unlimited boundaries and no obligations. Nancy was also bonded to the Severn and its creeks, seeking its wildlife while paddling in a homemade kayak. She was a regular to be seen on Weems Creek in her plastic kayak well into her early 80's. Nancy loved animals, and she reared her human family always in the company of cats, birds, mice, dogs, an occasional snake, turtles, salt-water starfish, fresh-water tropical fish, and horses.
Nancy always enjoyed Annapolis history and early American history. She volunteered as a docent at the Paca House, the Hammond Harwood House, and the Charles Carroll House. She gave walking tours of downtown Annapolis dressed in period costumes and shared this love with some of her nine grandchildren.
She was active in her community and volunteered as a Cub Scout, Brownie, and Girl Scout leader. She was honored for her rescue of a young boy who was drowning when he fell through the ice.
Above all else, she loved Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior and has lived her life to serve him since she was a young wife and mother. She and Benton always found a church to attend at each duty station. She enrolled the three children in Sunday School and volunteered in the life of the church and the community. In her later years, Nancy attended the USNA Chapel and then most recently the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Annapolis.
During her later years, she was unable to drive a car but could be seen driving an electric scooter around the Wardour and West Annapolis neighborhoods. Nancy passed away peacefully at the Hospice of the Chesapeake Inpatient Center in Pasadena, MD, on July 31, 2019.
Nancy was pre-deceased by her husband, Benton Edgington Reams, her sister, Anne Slaven Parr, a nephew, Steven Franklin Parr, and a grand-daughter, Carolyn Anne Reams. She is survived by a sister, Jane Slaven Nelson and three children; Suzanne Bridges of New York, Hugh Reams of Bowie, and Nancy Deibert of Edgewater. She has eight surviving grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
A Memorial Service to honor her life will be held at the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Annapolis, 710 Ridgely Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401, on Monday, August 19, 2019 at 1 PM.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her honor to either: EP Church of Annapolis, 710 Ridgely Avenue, Annapolis, MD 21401 attn: Building Fund
Family has asked the church to specifically use those donations for elevator or other upgrades to improve accessibility https://www.epannapolis.org/
Disabled Children's Fund, PO Box 4712, Crofton, MD 21114 http://disabled-child.org/ for more information on that organization
- Memorial Service Monday, August 19, 2019
Nancy Slaven Reams
Dennis and Debbie Bakaysa
August 18, 2019
We remember Nancy and Ben fondly at our time (1980-1990's) at Mt. Oak UMC. She was always so pleasant and friendly. Prayers go forth to the family members of this most precious child of the KING.
August 17, 2019
I enjoyed seeing and working as volunteers with Nancy at Bowie Hight School many years ago. She was always very friendly and pleasant! She had a very full vigorous life.
August 14, 2019
Nancy was one of the best. When my late husband died suddenly Nancy would come to my home about once a week, knock on the door, and when I answered it she would immediately tell me what I great job I was doing, how well I was accomplishing all that was needed to be done and then she would hug me and leave. It was an encouraging word, a word that I needed at that moment. I have written a Christmas letter since 1989 and there has never been a time when Nancy has not responded to the letter. She was witty, insightful, memorable and profound with her words. I have saved every one. One in particular was 1989....she claims "Life is a unique and individual trip - Christ and you - Christ and me. From where I stand your progress along your journey has been incredible! Thank you for walking it so publicly." I will always cherish these precious letters that I have from a wonderful lady.
August 14, 2019
For about the last 5 years, Nancy told me she wakes up in the morning and says: "Nuts! I'm still here!"
When my husband, her pastor at Mount Oak Church took the order of service out of the bulletin she said to him: "George, it's like walking across the Bay Bridge with no railings."
She said to me once: "I don't know what I think about something until I hear myself saying it."
I loved her "out of the box thinking"!!! George and I truly loved Nancy and Ben. It was a joy to be their friends.
August 6, 2019
I will always remember how much Nancy loved her children and grandchildren. I,too, witnessed her love of nature during several nature walks with her at the shore where she showed us how to keep the “no see ums” away with a palm frond from the trail! She was a light in our sometimes dark world and always shared her knowledge with those who came into her “path.” Peace to all of her loved ones. Jeannie Annis
August 4, 2019
I am surely going to miss that spunky feisty lady! I enjoyed spending time with her at the Naval Academy (sea wall), mall walking, and ice cream at the dock. She taught me so much ❤️ I will truly miss her and never forget her. Until we meet again. xoxo...
Linda O - Caregiver ❤️
August 3, 2019
For the last 4 years I had the honor and pleasure to help take care of Nancy. She taught me so much, from the names of each flower we seen together riding the scooters to never say "At" at the end of a sentence... Lol... I'll never forget her, Nancy will always have a special place in my heart. Prayers, hugs and love... Nancy S.