"There are no
ordinary people..."
C. S. Lewis

Nancy Lou Kennell

Born: 
Sunday, January 19, 1947
Died: 
Saturday, February 26, 2022
Birthplace: 
Everett, WA
Service Information: 
A service in celebration of Nancy’s life will be held at First Congregational Church of Bellingham, 2401 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA on Saturday, April 30 at 1:30 pm (see fccb.net for covid protocols and live streaming). Instead of flowers, please make a donation in Nancy Kennell’s name to the First Congregational Music Fund, the Bellingham Food Bank, or CaringBridge.

Nancy Lou Kennell (Robison) died peacefully, surrounded by family on February 26, 2022 at the age of 75. Even as she carried on a courageous battle with cancer, she was creating a legacy of honesty and transparency in her CaringBridge blog and Facebook posts which chronicle her journey.

Nancy was born January 19, 1947 in Everett, WA, the second of four children. She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Anne Robison (Parker), and sister-in-law, Mona Lanfear. She is survived by her husband, Malcolm Kennell, daughters, Ginger (Mark) Falcone and Karen (James) Hollis, siblings, Margery, Mark (Kathy), and Paul (Barb) Robison, brother-in-law, Ken Lanfear, and many nieces and nephews. 

Nancy and Mal met as students at Western Washington University, married in 1969, and settled permanently in Bellingham in 1974. They enjoyed parenthood, engaging conversations, home improvement projects, hiking, photography, the arts, and literature.

As a devoted mother, Nancy cared for her daughters in every way she could. When they were young she gave them every opportunity to learn, grow, and challenge themselves, and encouraged them as they carried these values into adulthood. She remained involved in their lives and walked with them through many life transitions. 

Nancy and her siblings shared a strong sense of family. They could always depend on each other and supported one another throughout their lives. They worked together for years, caring for their elderly mother and remained close after their mother’s passing at the age of 100.  

Nancy was passionate about education. In 1968 she earned her BA in Early Childhood Education and was hired as a kindergarten teacher in the Meridian School District. She always wanted to “teach children, not just curriculum,” and took the time to understand the needs of each child in her classroom. 

She was gifted at creating a rich learning environment for young children. In 1998, she opened Running Rabbit Daycare, which operated for 21 years. She supported parents as a childcare provider, mentor, and advocate. 

Nancy was devoted to her friends and community. She volunteered her time and talent to the Whatcom County Crisis Center and several church committees. She led book groups and organized outreach and service projects. As a dedicated activist and feminist, she was vocal about LGBTQ and women’s rights.

Nancy’s artistic eye was her playground. Whether it was interior design or photography, her joy was framing spaces and playing with light and color.

Known for her love of rabbits, she kept bunnies in the backyard for years and collected hundreds of life-like figurines and art pieces. She admired them for their resilience, child-like playfulness, and affectionate nature.


                                                                      


 

Guestbook Entries

Submitted by Jeff and Kathy Dorr on

Such an inspirational woman who loved life, her family, and children everywhere.  Hope to see you at the memorial service.  Take care and love to you all.

Submitted by Harriet and Rob... on

We are so saddened to hear of Nancy's passing. We considered her a friend after having our children, Ben and Haley, attend Running Rabbit. We have thought of her every time we pass your old house and remember fondly all the teachable moments she took advantage of with our children and us. Please Take Care.

Submitted by Tim Benson on

So sad to hear of Nancy's passing. My condolences to the whole family. I worked with Nancy for many years at the Crisis Center. She was one of those volunteers who you could always count on. I know that she touched many lives in her career.

Submitted by Joyce Moseley-S... on

Nancy was a special person.  She will be missed by all of us at church and beyond!

 

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