Let the memory of Nancy, Mom, Mimi be with us forever.
  • 78 years old
  • Born on October 23, 1940 in Danville, Pennsylvania, United States.
  • Passed away on March 12, 2019 in Yorktown, Virginia, United States.

Nancy Essick Head, 78, passed away peacefully on March 12, 2019, surrounded by her loving family. A Memorial Service will be held March 30, 2019 at 11:00 am at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 118 Old York-Hampton Highway, Yorktown. Pastor Joel Neubauer will preside.  Following the service, there will be a light lunch and visitation at the church.

Nancy was born on October 23, 1940 in Danville, PA to DeWitt Miller Essick and Clara Frances Shaw Essick. She grew up in Millersville, Pennsylvania and attended JP McCaskey High School where she was active in an array of activities ranging from color guard to editor of the school paper. She went on to attend Indiana State Teachers College, graduating in 1962.

After college, Nancy moved to Baltimore, MD where she taught fifth grade. There she met and married Lieutenant Jorj Clifford Head. Their life together was an adventure from the start. Nancy enjoyed being an Army wife, treasuring the chance to live in and travel to many states and countries. Eventually Nancy and Jorj settled in Yorktown, where they lived for more than forty-five years. Never having met a stranger, Nancy had a large circle of friends and stayed very busy. She was active in the PTA, served as room-parent year after year, and was even instrumental in making soccer a sport in York County high schools. She served as the Director of Christian Education at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, sang in the church choir, and was involved in Church Women United. Nancy was also a loving and fun mother who hosted the best backyard birthday parties, judged mud-pie competitions, and encouraged other shenanigans in the name of making memories.

As her children grew, Nancy, took on new projects. Combining her interest in education with her passion for helping others, she began working for World Book Encyclopedia, serving schools and communities throughout Tidewater. Around the same time, Nancy became interested in wellness and was an early adopter of green living. Before it was common, she traveled to recycling centers and focused on natural foods, medicines, and products. She began selling herbal supplements and enjoyed discussing health with anyone who would listen. Nancy was a go-to, informal health consultant for all her friends and family members.

In the early 2000s, Nancy found a new passion working alongside her golden retriever, Bailey. Nancy and her therapy dog Bailey (and later Mandy) worked with elementary school students, cancer patients, battered women, wounded war veterans, prisoners, and juvenile offenders. Nancy believed that every person deserves dignity and has the ability to change. Eventually, she felt called to work mainly with incarcerated adults and youth. Bailey and Mandy offered inmates companionship, a sense of purpose, and most importantly, unconditional love. Nancy offered her non-judgmental nature and an ear, although she always said her dogs did all the work. The relationships she made were lasting and rewarding, and it is hard to know who benefited the most.   

Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, DeWitt and Clara Essick, her brother, William Essick, her sister-in-law, Kaye Essick, and her granddaughter, Savannah Head.

She is survived by her beloved husband of 54 years, Jorj C. Head; son Jorj R. Head (wife Christina) Seaford, Virginia; daughters Angie Head Gloucester, VA and Suzie Smartt (husband Chris) Austin, Texas; grandchildren McKenna and Hayden Head, Seaford, VA; Clara, Nathan, and Evie Smartt, Austin, TX. She is also survived by her brother Ron Essick, Pinehurst, NC; her sister-in-law Keiko Essick, Lancaster, PA; and her nieces and nephews and their families, Katherine Essick (son William), John Essick (wife Iris), Shannon Salvador (husband Pancho, children Lilliana, Tyler, and Ruby), Chris Essick (wife Ashley, children Sadie, Claire, and Audrey).


The family thanks Nancy’s wonderful friends for their prayers, love, and companionship throughout her illness. The family is also grateful for the medical professionals for the outstanding care she received. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Savannah Head Memorial Grant would be welcome. Contributions by check can be made payable to YFPE with Savannah Head Memorial in the subject line. Mail to YFPE inc., PO Box 1771, Yorktown, VA 23692.

Posted by Isaac Ball on March 19, 2019
Jorj, Jorj, Angie and Suzie,
So sorry for your sad loss; Nancy was a wonderful person.
Lovely memories, interesting times and plenty of laughs; one very
memorable adventure when me and Nancy went to Richmond one
weekend for a WorldBook conference in heavy snow. Nancy also
came to our rescue on the day we were leaving USA; our car would not start and she bundled 5 of us (and bags and baggage) into the Volvo station wagon (remember that one Jorge?) and took us to the airport. A wonderful lady who will be sadly missed by all who
met her.
Dave and Brenda Ball send deepest sympathies to all the Family.
Posted by Jackie Outten on March 18, 2019
Angie
I am so sorry to hear about your mom. Please know that my prayers are with you and your family.
Posted by Robert Boughner on March 18, 2019
I met Jorg and Nancy when, as a single parent, I was in frequent need of a baby-sitter for my two children. Of course, Susan and Angie were there to help me out. Later, I saw Nancy and Jorg at St. Mark where we were fellow parish members. I am truly sorry for your loss.
Posted by Gillian Donoghue on March 18, 2019
Myself, Angie, Beth and Kendall (the Edgehill Girls!) spent many a happy hour at the Head's house - cooking, baking, talking and laughing! It was our first stop off after swim team for breakfast! Waffles, French toast, pancakes, etc... All necessary ingredients were available to us hungry swimmers!
At other times, I remember all of the fresh vegetables on the kitchen table, home-grown!
Nancy and Jorj happily had us to stay when we visited Virginia from England for Denyse's wedding. They were so hospitable and kind to us!
Nancy was such a friendly, loving person, she will be sadly missed by so many...
Posted by Christine Roe on March 18, 2019
I've been thinking about my friend, your loved one, Nancy, this week and looking back at some of the messages we shared via text. We shared a precious time in both of our lives. To now consider another beautiful saint, such as Nancy, being brought into the great cloud of witness that surrounds us, I stand in awe and wonder with God above for having been so greatly blessed to have walked with her in my life. I thank God for our times together. I pray that all who are now in a time of grief, are provided continued comfort and care. Shalom everyone.
Posted by Kay Forrest on March 18, 2019
I am so very sorry for your loss. I am sure your loving memories will bring you peace and comfort in the coming days. Nancy was a kind, loving person, who passes that love to all she met. It was an honor to have known her.
Posted by Elizabeth Southard on March 17, 2019
Mrs. Head always had a special place in my heart. As a good friend of her daughter Angie, I remember fondly the many slumber parties in the VW camper van parked in the driveway. Mrs. Head frequently checked in on us, often with hot chocolate, marshmallow fluff sandwiches or chocolate chip cookies.
Once Angie and I got older, Mrs. Head would often "ground" Angie until she cleaned her room. Hardly what anyone would consider a typical grounding, Angie was allowed to have me over to " help clean". Needless to say, cleaning dissolved into anquishing over middle school dramas. Depsite our procrastinating nature, Mrs. Head had a wonderful sense of humor about it.
I have fond memories of her love of animals and very green thumb.
She was strong.
She was brave.
She had a unswayable positive attitude.
My heart goes out to her large and loving family, particularly her dedicated husband and loyal dog Mandy, both of whom remained faithfully at her side.
Mr. and Mrs. Head's love for each other is rare and pure and serves as a testament to the sacred vows of marriage. 
I hope the family find comfort in knowing that despite her physical form has left this Earth,
she still exists in the air we breathe, her colorful and well cared for gardens,
and her beautiful childen and grandchildren.
With love and condolences-
Your friend forever and ever- 
Beth
Posted by Linda Windom on March 17, 2019
Jorj, Jorj, Angie, and Suzie,
I am so saddened by this news. I loved Nancy dearly. She was a very good friend when I desperately needed one. And Nancy was such an amazing person.
May you all find peace knowing that hers was a life well lived. And in the wonderful memories you have.
Linda (Larkin) Windom Wiencek (I divorced, remarried, widowed, remarried)

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