Nancy McCown Symmes

November 26, 2014

Nancy McCown Symmes, age 93, died November 26, at St. Vincent Hospital. She was born April 9, 1921, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and raised in Indianapolis by her father, Dr. Percy Edward McCown, and her mother, Kathryn (Knowles) McCown.

Nancy graduated from Tudor Hall School, Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, NY, Indiana University, BA 1943, and Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York City. She worked at the Rough Notes Co. (founded by her great-great Uncle, “Uncle Dr. Martin” about 1875) until her marriage.

She also has had wonderful memories of “Charlie’s seven favorite nieces”.

She was a member of the Junior League of Indianapolis, Christamore Guild and the former Indianapolis Day Nursery, Fortnight Literary Club and The Embroiders Guild. She volunteered at Park Tudor School, Northview Middle School, North Central High School and with the Girl Scout Organization. Additionally, she was a docent for the Indianapolis Museum of Art and a trustee for the former Tudor Hall School. Her hobbies included photography, needlepoint, sweepstaking, bridge, and travel. She and her sister, Barbara McCown Menzie, over a period of 30 years, visited every continent except Antartica.

Visitation and Services

Family services will be held on Tuesday December 2, 2014 at the Leppert Mortuary Nora Chapel, 740 E. 86th St. Indianapolis, IN. No public visitation is planned. Burial will be in Crown Hill Cemetery. The Family asks that in lieu of flowers that a donation be made to the Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment. Donate on line at or mail the contribution to The Caroline Symmes Cancer Endowment, PO Box 2937, Indianapolis, IN 46206.

Survived by:

three children, Kathryn Symmes Kirk (Jim), granddaughter Jessica Hall Graffunder (Hans) of Austin, Texas and great grandchildren Ian, Ella and Owen, Charles William Symmes,Jr.(Paula Jean), step-grand daughter Stephanie Gibson and David Symmes, (Elizabeth Goodknight) grand children Natalie and Sullivan Symmes.

Preceded by:

Her parents, as well as her husband in 2000, Charles William Symmes, an Indianapolis attorney, to whom she was married 51 years. Her sister, Constance McCown Krimendahl of New York City, and her granddaughter, Caroline Louise Symmes also predeceased.


3 Condolences for “Nancy McCown Symmes”

  1. Jack Crane December 1, 2014 at 9:37 am

    Your father and mother have been included in my favorite people list for more than 40 years. I’ve missed Charlie for many years and now will miss my annual meeting with Nancy to go over her tax returns. They were both wonderful to know.

    Jack Crane

  2. Kevin Niceley December 2, 2014 at 11:54 am

    Your parents were always wonderful people. Your mother was always so, positive and I always enjoyed our conversations. I will miss her calls. Our prayers are with you and your family.

  3. Janet W. Tretter December 5, 2014 at 8:49 pm

    Dear Symmes Family Members,

    Nancy was a “one-of-a-kind” friend among us in her sweepstaking group. That’s how we met along with several older experienced women sweepstaker friends like Mary Slosarz and Vivian Cochran. We would all get together once a month on a Saturday morning at several different locations over the years of the 1980’s to the early 2000’s to share our big and little sweepstakes “wins” and work on upcoming ones that we had found and were willing to share. We were a jolly, old group of a couple of men and a large number of women who enjoyed the thrills of entering and winning some of the most valuable prizes–and myriad “trinkets” with little or no value–to promote a wide variety of events, products, etc. Ha! Nancy was an industrious enterer in hundreds of giveaways–we all shared a common goal–WIN THE BIG ONE! We all remained good friends long after the club disbanded. We were all there for her when she lost Charlie and Caroline. We who are left still remember Nancy and will miss her enthusiasm for life and winning!

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