Nancy Williams Stokes, age 74, of Columbia, SC, was surrounded by family when she passed away peacefully at Hospice of the Upstate’s Rainey House on April 6, 2021. Born as Ada Becall Williams in Florence, SC, on September 14, 1946, her name officially changed to Nancy Jean Williams at a young age. Nancy was the daughter of the late Frances Rutledge Williams Beran and the late Raymond J. Williams of Lancaster, SC. She was a 1964 graduate of Lancaster High School and a 1968 graduate of Winthrop College. She was the loving wife of 48 years to the late Thomas Edward Stokes, Jr.
Nancy always said she was born to be a mother, a job in which she excelled. She took great pride in being known as “Tom and Greer’s Mom,” loving them selflessly, unconditionally, and patiently while encouraging and supporting them in every endeavor. She was a central figure in their lives, always the first to offer help at their schools and athletic events. When she became a grandmother, she treated Sarah Grace, Peyton, Miller, and Wells like her own, dropping everything to be an active part of their lives. Nancy’s “love language” was quality time, and each summer she hosted “Grancy Camp” at the lake house for her grandchildren, creating lifelong memories that will always be cherished.
Nancy had a variety of interests. She enjoyed sewing, photography, painting, and planning themed parties. She had a unique knack for taking nothing and turning it into something special. Nancy loved going to water aerobics at the YMCA, spending time at the lake, entertaining friends at the Carolina Cup (although she never saw a horse), having lunch with the Gardendale Moms, spending time with her Five Friends group, playing bridge with the ladies of Four Play, shagging to beach music and attending Clemson Football games with her husband, Tom. She was known for mailing thoughtful, handwritten notes, or even just a simple greeting card with a $2 bill enclosed.
Nancy was strong in her faith. She was a member of Virginia Wingard Memorial United Methodist Church for over 50 years, where she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School when her children were young. More recently, she enjoyed spending time with a group of women who met for lunch and fellowship.
It would be wrong to say that Nancy lost her battle to cancer because she never stopped fighting. No matter how sick she was, she stayed determined and strong. Through her example, her family knows what resilience, determination, and perseverance truly look like. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and loving friend. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
Nancy is survived by her son, Thomas E. Stokes, III (April Denny) of Charleston, SC; daughter, Greer Stokes McDougald (Jess) of Anderson, SC; grandchildren, Sarah Grace McDougald, Peyton Elise Stokes, Miller Thomas Stokes, and Jesse Fretwell “Wells” McDougald, Jr.; and a brother, Michael Gray Williams of Lancaster, SC.
The Funeral Service to honor and celebrate the life of Nancy Stokes will be held on Friday, April 9, 2021 at 2 p.m. at Virginia Wingard Memorial United Methodist Church in Columbia, SC, with Rev. Beth Faulk and the Rev. Bob Borom officiating. The family will greet friends on Friday from 12 p.m. until the time of the service. Entombment will be held on Saturday, April 10, 2021, at 12 p.m. at the Veterans Mausoleum at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Anderson, SC, with Rev. Dr. Dennis Tedder officiating.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Performing Arts Center Fund at Virginia Wingard United Methodist Church, 1500 Broad River Road, Columbia, SC 29210 or to Hospice of the Upstate, “For Charity Care”, 1835 Rogers Road, Anderson, SC 29621.
Online Condolences: The McDougald Funeral Home