Nancy Harvey Profile Photo

Nancy Harvey

March 31, 1934 — September 2, 2023

Kalispell, Montana


Nancy Melissa Ettinger Harvey, 89, surrounded by family passed away on Saturday, Sept. 2, 2023, after a brief illness.

She was born March 31, 1934, to Alfred and Helen (Putney) Ettinger in Atlanta, Georgia. Her parents divorced soon after, and Helen returned with infant Nancy to Missoula, Montana, where she had been a secretary at Fort Missoula.

Raised as an only child of a single mother in the 1930s she felt the sting of being without a father or siblings. However, she found and made family wherever she could throughout her long life, including dear friends in grade school whom she would keep until the end.

In 1957 she married Dale G. Harvey, and they had three children, Russell, Andrew, and Renée. Nancy and Dale divorced in 1975 but the children's refusal to lose either parent kept the couple together for holidays, etc. After a few years, the two renewed their friendship and remained close until Dale's death in 2019. Regardless of marital status, she continued to be a valued member of the Harvey family with Dale's seven siblings and their spouses and offspring.

Before marrying, she studied art as an undergraduate at the Art Institute of Chicago and then the University of Montana, where she got her degree. After her divorce, she got a masters in human services from the College of Great Falls. She served as a librarian and art teacher at Flathead High School and then Cut Bank High School until she retired from teaching in 1994.

She spent her life devoted to the arts, in particular music, painting, and poetry. She had several poems appear in various periodicals, and she self-published a book of poetry and sketches titled, "The Bluffs."

She adored reading long books, especially if they featured cats, cozy mysteries or anything to do with JRR Tolkien, and her secret guilty pleasure was watching televised sports.

She was active in the Bigfork village and volunteered at the Bigfork Arts and Cultural Center, and sang in the choir of the Bigfork Community United Methodist Church. Other memberships included the American Association of University Women and The Red Hat Society.

She is preceded in death by her mother, Helen; her father, Alfred; her ex-husband, Dale; and her beautiful daughter, Renée.

She is survived by her sons, Russell (Tamara) Harvey and Andrew (Diane McMenamin) Harvey; as well as her grandchildren, Nicholas Harvey and Julia Harvey, who gave her much joy in her last 20 years.

She ever sought connection, community, and family. She was a precious soul to everyone around her.

We will always miss her.

Nancy's celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30, at the Bigfork Community United Methodist Church, 750 Electric Ave., Bigfork. With a luncheon to follow.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Nancy Harvey, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, September 30, 2023

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Mountain time)

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Community United Methodist Church

Bigfork, MT 59911

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