Nancy Catherine Morgan Ezzell, 93, of Canadian, died Sunday, November 3, 2013, at Hemphill County Hospital. Memorial services will be held at 10 am on Saturday, November 9, at Canadian’s First Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Sydne Allen and Steve Johnson officiating.
Nancy was born September 22, 1920, in Denver, Colorado, to Harry L. and Marian Wilson Morgan. A graduate of the University of Denver, she was a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority and Mortarboard, an honorary scholastic organization. She met young airman Ben Ezzell in 1941 on Pearl Harbor Day, and a courtship in letters ensued. They were married on August 5, 1942, in Miami, Florida. Their marriage endured for over 50 years, until his death in 1993.
At the end of World War II, Nancy and Ben settled in Hereford, where he was named managing editor of The Hereford Brand. In 1947, they moved to Canadian, becoming part-owners and eventually sole owners, of The Canadian Record. As co-editors and publishers of The Record, they won countless regional and state awards and were widely respected by their fellow journalists.
Following Ben’s death, Nancy carried on that legacy with daughter and co-editor Laurie Ezzell Brown. Her much-loved column, Petticoat Patter, appeared in The Record pages each week for over 55 years.
In her youth, Nancy loved the mountains—hiking, rock-climbing, camping, skiing and picnicking. She also enjoyed square-dancing, playing tennis and swimming. In her adopted home town of Canadian, she became a bulwark of the First Presbyterian Church, serving as Sunday School teacher, deacon, session member, and both member and director of the church choir. She loved singing, made music and books a vital part of her family’s life, and was an avid and adept Scrabble player until her final days.
Nancy was a founding member of Canadian’s River Valley Pioneer Museum, a longtime member of The Woman’s Club, a member and past-president of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, and a member, director and past-president of the Panhandle Press Association. In 2000, she was honored as Canadian’s Woman of the Year and was inducted into the Panhandle Press Association Hall of Fame. She was also a recipient of the Amarillo Women’s Forum Distinguished Service Award.
In 2007, The Canadian Record and the Ezzell family were honored with the Tom and Pat Gish Award for courage, tenacity and integrity in rural community journalism, presented by the University of Kentucky’s Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues.
Since April 2010, Nancy had been a resident of The Seasons in Perryton, as she awaited the completion of Canadian’s Mesa View Assisted Living Community, which she had actively supported and where she had hoped to reside.
Nancy was preceded in death by her beloved husband Ben Ezzell; by her parents; by three sisters, Mary Morgan of Denver, CO, Elizabeth Threlkeld of Cape Cod, MA, and Alice Hill of Lindon, CO; and by a brother, John, also of Denver. She is survived by all six of her children, Ben Ezzell Jr. and wife Mary of Quilcene, WA, Marian (Emmy) Ezzell of Norman, OK, Robert Ezzell and wife Janet of Canadian, Catherine Ezzell of Bryan, Laurie Ezzell Brown of Canadian, and David Ezzell and wife Cheri of Enid, OK. She is also survived by six grandchildren, Gabriel Brown and Colby Ezzell of Canadian, Trent Ezzell of Crested Butte, CO, Sarah Atlee of Austin, Ben H. Ezzell of Enid, and Anne Ezzell Peters of Oklahoma City; by two step-grandchildren, Kristen Redick of Ozark, MO, and Ashleigh Wilson of Amarillo; and by numerous great-grandchildren.
Her children and their many friends in Canadian remember her as a lively, gracious, kind person whose encouragement and generosity affected many lives. The family suggests memorial gifts to one of three Canadian institutions which were dear to her heart: the Hemphill County Association’s Cleo Isaacs Endowment fund, established to assist residents of The Mesa View Assisted Living Center who could not otherwise afford to live there, PO Box 1122, Canadian, TX 79014; the Hemphill County Public Library, 500 Main Street, Canadian, TX 79014; and Rachel’s Little House Day Care Center, PO Box 961, Canadian, TX 7014.
Arrangements are by Hughs Funeral Home of Canadian.