Nancy Bietsch Landes
Nancy B. Landes, a remarkable woman who touched the lives of many, passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on February 24, 2023, in her Blue Bell, PA home.
Nancy was born in Philadelphia on April 7, 1931 to Dorothy and Warren Bietsch, and grew up in Lower Makefield, where she enjoyed swimming with her younger sister, Heather, in nearby Silver Lake. She worked summers as a swim instructor and lifeguard, even spending one pre-college summer waitressing at the Flanders Hotel in Ocean City, NJ so that she could be close to the beach. Nancy was a natural teacher, starting a children's summer camp in her neighborhood. Along with a few friend recruits, she kept the campers busy with crafts, games, and sports.
Nancy began her college journey at the University of Miami Ohio, where she pledged with the Pi Beta Phi sorority. She then transferred to Penn State University's main campus and became one of three founding members of the Aye See Colony of Pi Beta Phi during her senior year. Nancy graduated with her bachelor's degree in Art Education in the spring of 1953, despite the demands of student teaching in a different city while founding a new Greek chapter.
Nancy and Edward Z. Landes, her husband of 24 years, raised their three daughters in New Britain Township while Nancy worked as an elementary art teacher in the North Penn School District.
Nancy was an animal lover and never batted an eye at the menagerie of pets her children brought home over the years, from standard-issue cats, dogs, fish, and gerbils to the slightly eccentric, such as ducks, snakes, turtles, and even a raccoon! The only ‘hard no’ she gave was to the request of bringing home a monkey. Nancy’s favorite pet to reminisce about was by far their loyal beagle, Sparky.
A strong believer in staying physically and mentally active, Nancy earned her master’s equivalency through continuing education credits. She took classes that allowed her to create art that adorned the walls of her home and eventually those of her children and grandchildren. Her artwork made obvious her love of the outdoors – beachcombed shell collages, driftwood carvings, and landscape paintings. These up-cycled treasures continue to bring joy to her family to this day.
Always keen on adventure, Nancy traveled to all 50 states as well as internationally. She especially enjoyed walking the beaches of Ocean City, NJ, Cape Cod, MA, and Naples, FL, often accompanied by her grandchildren searching for shells. Nancy, or Nan to her grandkids, was a fixture on family vacations. If there was sun, sand, and a good book to read, you better believe Nan would be there sporting her heavy-duty sunshades and two-piece swimsuit.
When she wasn’t traveling, Nancy practiced yoga and tai chi, played in her long-standing bridge clubs, volunteered as an usher at the Bucks County Playhouse, played tennis, and joined naturalist-guided walks at the Peace Valley Nature Center. She was always present for her family’s celebrations both big and small, from band concerts to birthday parties. She never hesitated to jump on the dance floor and encouraged others to do the same – often by pulling a well-placed funny face and giving a wink.
Nancy's adventurous, determined, and creative spirit will be fondly remembered by all who knew her. When you feel the sand beneath your toes, find the perfect piece in nature for an art project, or hear a Big Band classic on the radio, take a moment to stick your tongue out, give a little wink, and dance as if Nancy was alongside you.
Nancy will be laid to rest in a private burial attended by her family at Hillside Cemetery in Souderton, Pennsylvania. Friends and Normandy Farms Estates caregivers are invited to join Nancy's family at a celebration of her life featuring photos, refreshments and music on April 21 from 1:00 to 4:00pm in the Franklinville Room of the Normandy Farms Hotel and Conference Center, Route 202 and Morris Road, Blue Bell, PA.
Nancy is survived by her daughters Sherri (Greg Schmidt) Borreson of Lunenburg, MA, Holly (Lanny) Sherwin of Montecito, CA, and Wendy (Ken) Weirman of Upper Gwynedd, PA; six grandchildren: Chris (Natalie), Erik (Cortney), Julia (Alex), Lindsey (James), Drew (Beanie), and Alec; and four great-grandchildren: Sydney, Hunter, Magnolia, and Scarlett. She is also survived by her sister Heather (Bill) Bray of Yardley, and several nieces and nephews.
Nancy's family asks that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made in Nancy's name to the NFE Residents' Association (9000 Twin Silo Drive, Blue Bell PA 19422) or the Peace Valley Nature Center (www.peacevalleynaturecenter.org).
Wendy Weirman Mar 9 2023 1:15 AM
Nancy was a gentile kind women whose crafty arts filled her house. She was always nice to me during the years I knew her and fun to always be with. I will always like to think that she and Ed were my friends. RIP Nan, prayers to a peaceful eternity.
Ed Bailor Mar 6 2023 5:49 PM
Robert J Ciafrei lit a candle for Nancy Bietsch Landes
Robert J Ciafrei Mar 6 2023 4:00 PM