Nanci Schmus Milam, 78, of Lebanon, Indiana, passed away on Friday, July 21, 2023 at IU Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis.
Nanci was born to Jean McKinstry Schmus and William Schmus on February 28th, 1945 in Naperville, Illinois. Born and raised in Naperville with her older brothers Randy and Jim, Nanci was a mix of tomboy spirit and dancer’s grace. She graduated from Naperville Community High School in 1963 and followed in her parents’ footsteps to Northwestern University in Evanston. Nanci graduated in December of 1966 with a B.A. in French and English Literature. She was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta and was music director and on the dean’s list.
Nanci lived in Germany while married to Dave Milam and moved to Lebanon to raise their two sons, David and Jason, and a daughter, Emily. Before being inflicted with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 37, Nanci enjoyed tennis, golf, skiing, French and English tutoring, guitar playing, songwriting, and community involvement including Tri-Kappa’s Haunted Attic. She later went on to be published lyricist and writer. Nanci’s 40-year professional career included serving as assistant director and writer for Bonneau Production Services, music producer for Cascella Cinemusic, and Director of Operations for TRC Studios and Aire Born Recording.
However, it is a combination of her spirit, education, and profession that led her to bring light to anyone who knew her. It is that spirit that will live on especially in her grandchildren, in whom she saw the best parts of herself.
Nanci is preceded in death by her parents, brother Jim Van Schmus, and nephew Brian Van Schmus. She is survived by her children, David Milam, Jason Milam, and Emily Milam Wolfgang and her husband Andrew, all of Lebanon; grandchildren Evan and Anneliese Wolfgang; brother W. Randall Van Schmus of Lawrence Kansas; and several much-loved nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life reception in Nanci’s memory will be held at Ulen Country Club the evening of Friday, August 25th. She will be interred at Oak Hill Cemetery in a private family service.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Nanci can make a donation to the Black Box Theatre Company’s Dandelion Child Scholarship Award, a new scholarship fund created in Nanci’s honor to support young people from Lebanon and central Indiana who are following and exploring their passion for the arts and humanities. Donation Link: Dandelion Child Scholarship Award in Honor of Nanci S. Milam.
Or Donation payable to the Black Box Theatre Company, Memo: Dandelion Child Scholarship Award, 378 Mt. Zion Road, Lebanon, IN, 46052.