Shrewsbury – Nancy (Ellms) Samia, 82, of Shrewsbury and Harwich, passed away surrounded by her loving family on Tuesday, January 31, 2023 due to complications related to pancreatic cancer.
Nancy M. Ellms was born on December 12, 1940 in Worcester. She was the daughter of the late Aida (Eckerstrom) and Ralph Ellms. She graduated from South High School in Worcester and Green Mountain College, Poultney, Vermont. On June 9, 1962, she married the love of her life and protector, Roger G. Samia. Nancy and Roger were married for 57 wonderful years until his death on May 9, 2020.
Nancy treasured her time with Roger in Munich, Germany where Roger was stationed for the U.S. Army immediately after they were married. They returned to Worcester in 1964, and then settled in Shrewsbury with their young family in 1967. In 1970, Roger and Nancy founded their own company, CAT-VAL, Inc.
Nancy simultaneously helped manage the financial side of their business while raising their family, which was her pride and joy. Nancy loved her children and supported them in everything that they did. She was fortunate to have many grandchildren and played a significant role in all their lives. Nancy loved attending their sporting events and celebrating their birthdays, academic achievements, graduations and weddings. She engaged in many thoughtful debates and loved to keep her grandkids on their toes with her honest opinions and earnest questions. She spent time with their friends and enjoyed sharpening her wit in their conversations. Nancy was known for “living young” and credited her grandchildren for keeping her that way.
After raising her family, she returned to work first with Worcester Controls and then later completed an accomplished 17-year career with the Shrewsbury Light Department, retiring in 2002. She was an active parishioner at The First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury, including with the Circle Group.
Nancy was passionate about her treasure hunting adventures at yard sales, thrift stores, and the Harwich treasure chest, where she was affectionately known. She was never shy about advertising and sharing her valuable finds. Nancy also enjoyed an occasional jaunt to the casino to make a very small donation.
Nancy also regularly expressed her good fortune to have such a strong and long-time group of good friends with whom she spent time golfing, playing cards, dining and relaxing on the beach. Nancy very much cherished her time spent on Cape Cod along with attending Norwich University functions and her travel adventures around the world with Roger.
Nancy is survived by her three children and their families: Karen S. Benway, her husband, Charles and their children, Elizabeth, Andrew and Matthew of Boston, Steven E. Samia, his wife, Deborah and their children, Alexis (Kevin) Vigeant, Mariah (Adrian) Gumienny, Lauryn and Paige of Dudley, John R. Samia, his wife, Kimberly and their children, Micaela, Thomas and Catherine of Shrewsbury. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Barbara Ellms, of Spencer. Her love extended to her many nieces, nephews, extended family members and a host of friends. In addition to Roger and her parents, she was predeceased by her sister Carol Ellms, her brother, George Ellms, her brother- in-law, Colonel (Ret) Robert Samia, and daughter-in-law, Ellen (Donovan) Samia.
The family wishes to thank Dr. Brian Wolpin and the many medical professionals at Dana Farber and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, 7 South Connors Center, for their compassion, care, and support.
Family and friends will honor Nancy’s life by gathering for calling hours on Monday, February 6th, from 4-7 p.m. at Chiampa Funeral Home, 5 Church Road, Shrewsbury. Her funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at The First Congregational Church of Shrewsbury. Burial to follow at Mountain View Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial remembrances in her name can be made to Dana Farber, Dr. Wolpin’s Research Fund, 450 Brookline Ave. Boston, MA, 02215, the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Way, Memphis, TN, 38105 or Norwich University Class of 1961 Scholarship Fund, care of the Development Office, Norwich University, 158 Harmon Drive, Northfield, VT, 05663.