Obituary for Nancy Cushman
Nancy A. Cushman, 67, of Cortland Street, passed away on Sunday, July 30, 2017, as a result of injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident in Walton, NY.
Born September 21, 1949, in Aberdeen, MD, Nancy was the daughter of Homer and Ruth (Pegelow) McPherson. The oldest of ten children, she grew up in Medina, NY. Nancy graduated from Medina High School with the Class of 1967. A highly diligent high school student, Nancy earned scholarships and attended Alfred University where she completed a bachelor’s degree in sociology. It was there that she met her future husband, James G. “Jim” Cushman.
On February 7, 1970, in Medina, NY, Nancy married Jim, while still attending college. After finishing their studies, Nancy and Jim moved to Ohio where Jim attended law school. Following law school graduation, the couple relocated to the Norwich area, initially close to Jim’s grandparent’s home, in Plymouth, where he had spent many summers growing up.
After purchasing a beautiful Victorian-style home in Norwich, which had belonged to Jim's relatives decades ago, Nancy and Jim planted roots and raised three daughters. Their family has grown to include six grandchildren, whom Nancy loved dearly. After her girls were raised and on their own, Nancy began a business career in downtown Norwich. She gained experience in sales and customer service while working for several years at Skillin’s Jewelers, a job she loved very much. Nancy and Jim were also influential in purchasing and improving the iconic Colonia Theater, which is still in operation today.
In October 1997, Nancy, along with her very close friend Carol Morse, became the proprietor of Seasons Gift Shop, a familiar, bright, and always inviting storefront on South Broad Street in Norwich. Nancy’s kind and welcoming presence at the shop always made her patrons feel right at home. Her focus was on building relationships with her customers, rather than simply making a sale – chances are she would invite you to sit down for a cup of coffee and a chat when you came into the store. Seasons is truly the "gem" of businesses in town. Her joyfulness and pride in business ownership were evident in her creative window displays and the meticulous care she took with her beautiful seasonal flowers outside the shop. Throughout her 20 years of operating Seasons, Nancy would make countless friends, and touch so many lives of Norwich residents and visitors. Her benevolence would also lead her to regularly donate store items to be used for raffles that benefitted local events and charities. In 2010, Nancy was bestowed the Woman-Owned Business of the Year award from the local chamber of commerce.
Nancy drew unwavering strength from her faith in God. She was a communicant of St. Paul’s Catholic Church. She loved her family and friends, often hosting family-style dinners or summer picnics at their home or on their beautifully landscaped property. Her sense of humor was incredible and her laugh was contagious; more often than not, she was laughing at herself – often with tears rolling down her cheeks. There was not a pretentious bone in her body. She accepted life’s everyday challenges, and had a unique way of sharing stories with dramatic, comedic flare.
Nancy loved her dog, Aretha Franklin. She was often seen walking, running behind, dragging, or being dragged by Aretha down the streets of Norwich. In the evenings, Nancy and Jim enjoyed dining with friends at the Ontario Restaurant or sitting in their backyard or on their front porch drinking wine or bourbon. Nancy loved taking trips on their motorcycle. She and Jim logged tens of thousands of miles traveling through Canada and the Northeastern states.
Nancy’s kind heart, caring ways, and generosity will never be forgotten. She was the epitome of selflessness. It is an understatement to say Nancy will be sorely missed by all who knew her.
In addition to her husband, Nancy is survived by her three daughters, Christine (Hank) Champion, Andrea (Jay) Santa Lucia and Stephanie (Adam) Brennell; and her grandchildren Calvin Cushman, Olivia Champion, Roxanne Champion, William Brennell, Sean Brennell and Zachary Brennell. She is also survived by her father, Homer McPherson, and nine siblings James (Cindi) McPherson, Deborah (Ken) Smith, Michael (Sue) McPherson, Daniel (Wanda) McPherson, Cassandra (Steve) Schaal, Timothy (Kim) McPherson, Paul McPherson, Kenneth McPherson and Mary (Kelly) Schaal.
Additionally, Nancy leaves behind a sister-in law Hazel (Ron) Schreiber, and numerous nieces and nephews on both sides of the family, and her Season’s Gift Shop family.
Family and friends may call at the Wilson Funeral Home on Thursday, August 10, 2017, from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. and from 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, August 11, 2017, at St. Paul’s Church, where the Rev. Ralph A. Bove, pastor, will officiate. Burial will immediately follow at St. Paul’s Cemetery. After Nancy is laid to rest, her family would like to invite family and friends to celebrate her beautiful life with food, friends, and laughter at the American Legion Post 189, 29 Sheldon St., Norwich, NY, beginning at 12:30 p.m.
Contributions in Nancy’s memory may be made to the Norwich YMCA Open Doors Scholarship; St. Paul’s Catholic Church; Chenango County SPCA; Alzheimer's Association - Western New York (WNY) Chapter; Norrie Disease Association; Vision Research ROPARD Foundation (VRRF); or the Scleroderma Foundation - Tri-State Chapter.