Nancy NicodemusNancy Nicodemus

Nancy Nicodemus, a professor emerita of English who after 33 years as a dedicated teacher and mentor at Hope went on to earn an additional degree of her own from the college in retirement, died on Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023. She passed away peacefully two days short of her 89th birthday, after extended care at home and a brief stay in hospice care at Resthaven Care Center in Holland, Michigan.

She moved to Holland and joined the Hope faculty of Hope in 1966 as professor of English and poetry. She helped to create the Women鈥檚 Studies (now Women鈥檚 and Gender Studies) Program, and participated in several other interdisciplinary programs as well.

She began traveling internationally as a faculty leader for Hope students, visiting France, Austria and the former Yugoslavia. She also spent several months in 1989 in Australia and New Zealand while on sabbatical, using the time to create a guide for students who were taking overseas study semesters. The booklet was adopted by the Associated Colleges of the Midwest and the Great Lakes Colleges Association (GLCA), and the accompanying guide for faculty leaders was published by the Council of International Educational Exchange in 1991.

She was active in helping others to become better teachers, first as part of GLCA teaching-enhancement workshops, and later in programs at Hope to strengthen the preparation of new faculty and to enhance the teaching by all members of the college鈥檚 faculty.  In January of 1997, she received the college's Provost's Award for Excellence in Teaching.

In the 1990s, she began writing poetry, and had works published in the Christian Science Monitor, Onionhead Literary Journal, Black Fly Journal and Sunrust Magazine; and in the poetry anthologies A Bird in the Heart, Poems That Thump in the Dark, A While Longer Before the Cold, and Treasured Poems in America 1991 and 1993. In 1995, she received a fellowship for a month-long residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, a working retreat for writers, visual artists and composers.

Her enthusiasm for learning also led her to take courses at Hope.  After retiring from the faculty in 1999, she enrolled as a student to study art, graduating in 2007 with a degree in art history.

Born Nancy Ann Schrock in 1934 in LaGrange, Indiana, to Paul and Ruth (Reed) Schrock, she was the middle of three children (younger brother Thomas Paul - 2005, and older sister Margaret Ellen - 2015).  After graduating from LaGrange High School in 1952, she attended Hanover College and Bowling Green State University before receiving her BA at Western Michigan College (now University), then attended the University of Wyoming for her master鈥檚. She returned to Western Michigan University to teach, and then moved to Minneapolis, where she pursued her Ph.D. at the University of Minnesota.

Surviving are her husband, Paul Nicodemus; their seven children, Karen (Laura Antoniou) and Kristina Taylor; Timothy Shane Nicodemus, Kim Nicodemus (Dave Reinking), Kristy Foster (Tim), Phil Nicodemus, and Stefany Howard (Steve); and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She and Paul became regulars at Hope College athletic contests, and frequently traveled to cheer on the teams when they played out of town. She also enjoyed hosting holiday weekends for family, attending live theater and classic cinema, visiting antique markets and estate sales, and creating mischievous costumes for Halloween and parties.

A celebration of life is planned for the spring of 2024.