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Nancy Carlton Tolley, née Cummins, passed away at age 85 on February 19, 2023, at the Johns Hopkins Neurosciences Critical Care Unit. Nancy was born on August 23, 1937, in Arlington, Kentucky, the second daughter of Edward Carlton and Lena Rivers (Everett) Cummins. Her older sister, Rosemary C. Newman, predeceased her in 2015.
Nancy graduated from Arlington High School in Arlington, Kentucky in the class of 1954. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from Murray State College (now University) in 1958. She was cheerleader for the Murray Racers and Homecoming Queen. She met Harold “Bud” Tolley there and they were married in Arlington, Kentucky on June 6, 1959. She began her career teaching Home Economics, now known as Family and Consumer Sciences, in Metropolis, Illinois, and continued teaching this subject to students at the Southampton Middle School in Bel Air, Maryland until her retirement from the Harford County Public School system. Passing along to the next generation her joy of cooking and its importance to family life were some of her proudest accomplishments as a teacher.
Nancy was married to Harold “Bud” Tolley, for 60 years, until his death in 2019. She is survived by four sons, Greg of Joppa, Michael (and Lynne) of Dedham, Massachusetts, John (and Sherri) of Bel Air, and Jeff of Bel Air; four grandchildren, Trent (and Rachael) of Richmond, Virginia; Lauren of Yorktown, Virginia; Sierra of Bel Air; and Gavin of Bel Air; and one great-grandson, Grayson (son of Trent and Rachael). She was predeceased by her son Bryan in 1972 and her daughter-in-law Carla in 2019.
In 1964, Nancy moved from western Kentucky to Maryland with her husband and young family. She may have left Kentucky for a new life in Maryland, but she remained connected to the region through many friends and extended family. A lifelong fan of Kentucky horseracing and basketball, she later followed the Baltimore Orioles, Colts, Ravens, and Terps. Nancy enjoyed gardening, trips to Longwood Gardens each season, reading, following her sports teams, and her ‘Lunch Bunch,’ a group of former colleagues who had gone to lunch together for almost two decades. For years she graced the sidelines of Bel Air’s courts and sport fields, cheering on sons and grandchildren. She loved spending time with her grandchildren—making milkshakes, playing dominos, badminton, and croquet. Nancy was also member of the Bel Air United Methodist Church and for many years had enjoyed visiting former members of the congregation who were living in nursing homes. With her joyful personality, ready smile and always a kind and positive thought, she must have been a most welcome visitor.
Those who desire may send contributions to: Bel Air United Methodist Church, 21 Linwood Avenue, Bel Air, MD 21014.
Thursday, February 23, 2023
6:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)
McComas Family Funeral Homes (Bel Air)
Friday, February 24, 2023
Starts at 10:00am (Eastern time)
Bel Air United Methodist Church
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