Nancy Jane Dillingham, 79, Kansas City, MO passed away on Aug. 8, 2021. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 16, 2021 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1300 N. 18th St., Kansas City, KS 66102. A private family burial will follow at Second Creek Cemetery on Cookingham Drive, Kansas City, MO. A celebration of life and reception will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 16, at Trezo Mare in Briarcliff Village, Kansas City, MO. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions to organizations dear to Nancy’s heart—the University of Kansas Endowment, Kansas City Zoo and the BOTAR organization affiliated with the American Royal.
Nancy was born on Oct. 12, 1941 to William Houston Abbott and Helen Jane Edwards. At the age of 4, she lost her father in the Philippines while he was serving his country during WWII. Her mother remarried and John K. “Jack” Dear became the father she knew. Her grandparents, Roy A. “Papa” and Bertha Miller Edwards, and her aunt Virginia “Ninna” and uncle Harold Harding also were a strong influence when growing up. Nancy was a graduate of Wyandotte High School in 1959 and attended Colorado Woman’s College in Denver and the University of Kansas through 1963. Before meeting John she was the assistant secretary in city hall to Kansas City Mayor Ike Davis.
Nancy was very involved in the community. She enjoyed giving her time and talents to the Junior League of Johnson and Wyandotte Counties (chairing many auctions and committees) and the American Royal (BOTAR debutant-1963, past president of BOTAR, past chairwoman of many committees and Honorary American Royal Governor). In addition, she served as co-chair and chairwoman of many fundraisers for organizations that included the Kansas City Museum/Union Station, KC Municipal Art Commission, Friends of the Zoo, Harvest Ball, Friends of the River, Shades of Blue, Children’s Mercy Northland, American Lung Association, Women’s Public Service Network (WPSN), Spirit Awards Dinner for Gillis, Immacolata Manor Couples Award, KC Jazz Orchestra, Harry S. Truman Library, William Jewell College, Central States American Lung Association, and Founders Day at Park University. She also was active in the Native Sons and Daughters of Greater Kansas City.
Nancy is survived by her husband John Allen Dillingham, sons Allen Edwards Dillingham, and his wife Sandi, and William Kemp Dillingham, and his wife Keri. Grandchildren include Allie Lynn Dillingham, Mollie Jane Dillingham, Lucas Jay Dillingham, and twins Lilian Nancy Dillingham and John (Jack) Wayne Dillingham.