Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 17, 2013

Nancy Carolyn Hayward

Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Nancy C. Hayward, 74, of Old Mission Peninsula, passed away on Feb. 10, 2013, at her home supported by her family’s presence and the gentle care of her loving spouse. Born April 15. 1938, in Davison, she was the daughter of the late Alfred H. and Evelyn (Wingfield) Thompson.

Nancy met her husband, Gordon, at Michigan State University. They married in 1958. After spending five years in the U.S. Air Force they returned to South Boardman with their three children, where they operated a dairy farm.

Nancy returned to school and received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Central Michigan University.

Nancy and her family moved to Traverse City in 1973. She became involved in civic service, serving on the Traverse City Light and Power Board, Executive Director of the Data Research Center, and was employed as planner with Munson Medical Center until she retired.

In the 1960s Nancy began her personal spiritual search leading her to Shamanism as the way to grow in personal power, knowledge and maintenance of health. She felt that this knowledge would allow her to benefit others. She was an ordained minister in the Circle of the Sacred Earth, a certified herbalist and a former member of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

Her spiritual training included journeys with her husband to Chocó Canyon, to the mountains of Peru to train with the C’ero Shamans, with the Navajo at Canyon deChelly, with fellow spiritualists in York, England, and with a group to Egypt to study the Egyptian God Hathor. She and her husband joined a group of U.S. Shamans spending a month in Tibet that included a sacred walk around Mt. Kailish.

In addition she traveled extensively with her husband and family, visiting The Galapagos Islands, Martinique Island, Scotland, Turkey, Mexico, Hawaii, Japan (with her husband as guests of the Japan Land Agency), as well as taking each of her grandchildren for a personal trip to Washington D.C., Jamestown and Williamsburg, Va.

She was passionately involved in politics following local, state and national issues, was a staunch supporter of women’s causes including being a founding member of Women’s Resource Center and a member of Women’s Economic Development Organization, Old Mission Women’s Club, where she served as treasurer, Peninsula Historical Society and marching in Washington D.C. for NARAL in the fall of 1983. She was also a gifted gardener.

She was an inspiration to all who knew her and will be greatly missed.

She is survived by her husband of 54 years, Gordon, of Traverse City; children, Sheryl (Paul) Williams, of Traverse City, Martin (Marcia) Hayward, of Overland Park, Kan., and Louise (Curtis Exelby) Hayward, of Manchester; and grandchildren, Taylor (Ravi Singh) Hayward-Beagle, of Montreal, Canada, Erin Hayward-Beagle, of Traverse City, Kimberly (Jay) Patel, of Chicago, Matthew (Andrew Call) Hayward, of Overland Park, Kan., Neil and Jessica Exelby (siblings), of Manchester, Andy Williams, of Seattle, Wash., Colin Williams, of Traverse City, and Cameron Williams, of Oklahoma City, Okla. Also surviving are sisters, June (Jerry) Ivester; Zella (Ralph) Morrow, Lorraine (Bob) Oviatt, Margaret Griffin and Marilyn Wingfield; brother, Alfred (Joan) Thompson Jr.; along with many nieces and nephews. Nancy was anticipating the birth of her first great-granddaughter expected in early July.

Memorial services are being planned for this summer.

It is suggested that those who wish to further honor the memory of Nancy may do so by making a contribution to the Women’s Resource Center, 720 S. Elmwood Ave., Traverse City, MI 49684.

Kindly join grandchildren and other family and friends by sharing your memories with them on their online guestbook at