Nancy Ann Deuchler, 74, a longtime resident of Oak Park, died on Oct. 5 of complications of diabetes. Born in 1946 in Atlanta, Georgia, she was an only child. Her mother, Mary Lee Cross, was a primary teacher in one of the rural southern Rosenwald elementary schools. Her father, Thomas, was a World War II Army veteran. They moved to the South Side of Chicago in the early postwar years, as did many other African-Americans during that period, for better opportunities.
She attended Catholic schools of the BVM (Blessed Virgin Mary) order. After she graduated from Immaculata High School, she began her journey as a BVM Catholic nun in Dubuque, Iowa, from 1964 to 1970. She taught history, dance, and television production at St. Mary’s Center for Learning on Chicago’s West Side.
In 1973 she married Douglas Deuchler and they lived in Oak Park with their three children: Timothy, Jason, and Samantha. She is survived by her children and her husband. She was the manager of several bookstores, including Barbara’s Bookstore in Oak Park. She enjoyed her book club, her creative cookery, her role on the first board of Oak Park’s Ten Thousand Villages store, and she loved caring for her grand-pup, Dexter.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to WITS Chicago.org (a juvenile literacy teaching program), and the American Diabetes Association (diabetes.org).