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Nancy Jo Grobmyer, 90, of Carrollton, Ky., died Tuesday, July 31, 2018, at the Gallatin County Health and Rehab Center in Warsaw, Ky.
She was born on November 25, 1927 in Warsaw, Ky., the daughter of Victor and Riley Madin Ellis. She was also a direct descendent of James Tandy Ellis, renowned Kentucky poet and lecturer. Nancy Jo was raised in the small town of Ghent, in Carroll County, Ky. As a child, she took private piano and voice lessons from Mr. Russel Dufour, a well-known private music teacher in Ghent. She attended grade school at St. John’s Catholic school in Carrollton. In high school, she participated in state choral and vocal competitions. She graduated from Carrollton High School in 1945. She was awarded a vocal music scholarship to attend Christian College in Columbia, Mo. where she received an Associate of Arts Degree in Vocal Performance in 1947. She married Robert Allen “Bob” Grobmyer on July 30, 1947 at St. John’s Catholic Church, in Carrollton. From that union, they were blessed with four children. They raised their family in Carrollton where Bob managed the family-owned coal and lumber business, and she became a homemaker. Following her husband’s untimely death on June 29th 1957, she became the music director at St. John’s. She took on the roles of organist, vocalist, and pianist. She remained in that position for sixty years and officially retired on June 11th, 2017.
Throughout her life, Nancy Jo attended daily Mass and Communion. She served as a high school religion teacher for a number of years. In her professional life, she served as a private piano and voice teacher in Carrollton from 1959-2013. From her home, she taught hundreds of children in Carroll County and surrounding counties. Many of those children grew up to become musicians in their professional lives. She also sang and played the organ for many weddings and funerals. She was the vocal director and pianist for the Carroll County High School musical productions under the direction of Sam P. Simpson in the 1970s and 80s. She also acted and sang in many local musicals including “The Carrollton Follies,” “Little Mary Sunshine,” and “The Sound of Music” where she was cast as the Mother Superior in both the Carrollton and Madison, Indiana productions. She was also a member of the Madison Community Chorus and was a soloist in the annual performances of “The Messiah” for over 35 years.
Nancy Jo was very active in the community of Carrollton. She was an avid tennis player and participated in local tennis tournaments throughout the 1970s and 80s. She was a member of many different organizations, often serving in some official capacity. These included The Homemakers Chorus, Daughters of the American Revolution, The Ghent Woman’s Club, The Caby M. Froman Club, The Port William Historical Society, The Carrollton Woman’s Club, The Carrollton Arts Board, The Money Line Investment Club, and her beloved Women’s Bridge Club, of which she was the last surviving member.
In 1973, she was the first woman elected to serve on the Carrollton City Council and served in that capacity through 2010. During her tenure, The Masterson House was restored as a state historical site and Point Park was established as a city park. She was especially pleased to have played a role in the success of these two endeavors. She took charge of opening the Masterson House to the public for hosting weddings, receptions, and historical events throughout the years. The Port William Historical Society was established and Heritage Day became an annual event under her direction. In 1975, she helped co-write a grant that enabled Carrollton to become an All-Kentucky City. During that time, she received the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce Award as Outstanding Citizen of the Year. After her tenure on the City Council, she continued to serve on committees that included Urban Forestry and the Main Street Program through 2017. In 1987, she was selected as the Kentucky Mother of the Year. This was due to the fact that a dear friend of hers submitted her name and application to compete with other Kentucky mothers across the state. Later that year, she competed for the national title that was held in Lexington, Ky. She enjoyed the experience of meeting mothers from all over the country competing for the title. She continued her dedication to the Kentucky Mothers by serving as its president in the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2011, and again in 2014, she was presented community service awards by the Chamber of Commerce for her years of dedication and service to the Carrollton community. In 2017, she received a service medal by the Polly Hawkins Craig Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The purpose was to recognize her as an American woman in History for her work in the community, church and DAR chapter. She also had the distinct honor of being commissioned a Kentucky Colonel.
Throughout her life, Nancy Jo enjoyed associating with her family and friends, spending time with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, reading, writing notes to her family and friends, traveling both at home and abroad, singing, playing the piano and organ, attending church, playing bridge, dining out, and watching professional tennis and University of Kentucky basketball. In more recent years, she enjoyed restoring and living in Rebel Landing, her home on Highland Avenue since 2004.
Survivors include a son John Cassin “Jack’ , and his wife Barb of Centerville, Ohio, a son, James Henry “ Jim” , and his fiancé, Susan Giebler of Carrollton, a son, Stanley Victor “ Chip”, and his wife Pam of Charlottesville, Va., and a daughter Mary Ellis Coombs, and her husband Scott of Carrollton, eight grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren, three nieces, one nephew, many great nieces and nephews, and several cousins. She was preceded in death by her husband Bob, her parents, her two brothers, Vernon and Richard Ellis, two nephews, and one great grandchild.
Tandy-Eckler-Riley Funeral Home in Carrollton is entrusted with the arrangements.
Friday, August 3, 2018
5:00 - 8:00pm (Eastern time)
Friday, August 3, 2018
Starts at 7:30pm (Eastern time)
Saturday, August 4, 2018
Starts at 11:00am (Eastern time)
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