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Nancy Ann Hardy, age 71, of Shelbina, Missouri, passed away on the morning of Monday, September 5, at University Hospital in Columbia, Missouri.

Nancy was born on January 27, 1945, in Burlington, Iowa, to John Stanley and Ella Beth Shank Leach.  She was a 1963 graduate of Winfield-Mt. Union High School and attended Iowa Wesleyan College. In 1970, she married and relocated to Missouri.

Nancy was a passionate lifelong Democrat.  Her political philosophy was deeply influenced by the presidency of John F. Kennedy, of whom she spoke fondly throughout her life.  A voracious reader, Nancy was one of the Carnegie Public Library’s most loyal patrons during her time in Shelbina, forging personal relationships with library staff that spanned decades.  Nancy maintained an index card file recording every single book she had read in her life.  At the time of her death, the file contained thousands of titles. Nancy read many genres of fiction and nonfiction, though she particularly enjoyed mystery novels.  As a mother, Nancy stressed the importance of reading, writing, and grammatically correct speech to her nine children.  As a volunteer educator and classroom monitor, she spent many hundreds of hours reading to children at Shelbina Elementary School and assisting them with their homework.

Nancy is preceded in death by her parents; her brother Joseph Leach; and her daughter, Amy Caroline Hardy.    She is survived by her brother John Leach and wife, Nancy of Aurora, Missouri; eight children, Kathleen Harder and husband, Stacy of Edina, Missouri, Lynn Shumway and husband, John of Bel Air, Maryland, Christie Hardy of San Diego, California, Carrie Hardy of Columbia, Missouri, Jon Hardy and wife, Julia Bonham of Columbia, Missouri, Amanda Hager and husband, Jared of Overland Park, Kansas, Andrew Hardy and significant other, Rachel Meraz of Seattle, Washington, and Adam Hardy of Chicago, Illinois; she is also survived by sixteen grandchildren, Benjamin Harder of Kirksville, Missouri, Jonathan Harder of Columbia, Missouri, Nathaniel Harder of Maryville, Missouri, Julia Shumway of Burlington, Iowa, Jeffrey Shumway of Lawrence, Kansas, Bryan, Eric and Zachary Shumway of Bel Air, Maryland, Aurora Hardy of San Diego, California, Kristina and Abigail Bullard of Sedalia, Missouri, Ella Kennedy of Columbia, Missouri, Ellery Bonham-Hardy of Columbia, Missouri, and Christopher, Caitlyn and Cole Hager of Overland Park, Kansas. Nancy is also survived by one great-grandchild, Aria Brummit of Sedalia, Missouri.

A celebration of Nancy’s life will take place at the United Methodist Church in Mt. Union, Iowa at 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, September 17, followed by church services, burial service at Trinity Cemetery in Mt. Union, and memorial reception at the Mt. Union Community Center. A memorial fund for Nancy has been established at the Shelbina Carnegie Public Library, 102 N. Center, Shelbina, Missouri 63468. Contributions will go toward procuring new mystery novels for the library’s collection.