Nancy Caryl Tebo passed away peacefully in her home at The Heritage on December 21, 2023, leaving behind a legacy woven with wisdom, compassion, and unconditional love.
Born in Wausau, WI on August 17, 1931 to Carl and Annette Swanson, Nancy and her sister Molly were raised as good “Swedes” in a close-knit community of lifelong friends in Mosinee, Wisconsin. Ever independent, outgoing and with an innate drive to learn, Nancy left home to pursue a passion in music education at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh where she met her future husband of 66 years, Norman Tebo. Norm and Nancy married during Nancy’s first year as a music teacher.
Nancy called motherhood a joyous time as she and Norm prayed for the blessing of a large family. They raised five children while living first in Mosinee, and then Appleton with a move in 1963. As a devoted mom, Nancy wove adventures in nature, culture, and the arts alongside community service projects and church choir practice to ensure that children Dave, Kris, Paul, Kay, and Mike were raised with a deep respect for the earth, the beauty of diversity, and the responsibility to care for others.
In the 1970’s, as a founding member and host family for the ABC program (A Better Chance), Nancy modeled a commitment to social justice, welcoming young people from diverse backgrounds with whom she maintained life-long relationships. She cherished Walter Blount and Geri Rixter as a son and daughter.
Returning to teaching only when the youngest went to kindergarten, Nancy found a new passion working in the field of special education. After earning a Master’s Degree from UW Oshkosh, she taught first in the Neenah School District and then in Appleton at both Roosevelt Junior High and Franklin. A skilled educator, model of best practice in serving children with special needs, mentor to new teachers, and inspiration to her colleagues, she was honored with the Mielke Foundation Elementary Educator of the Year Award for the Appleton District in 1987.
With a shift to a new home in the woods of Waupaca, a lakeside camp in Mt. Morris, and winters in Alabama, Nancy expanded the world of people she touched. Her generosity, creativity and boundless energy inspired people and projects in the Parfreyville Methodist Church, Rural Historical Society, Mt. Morris Lutheran Retreat, and the Wisconsin Club of Gulf Shores to name a few.
Becoming a grandmother, Nancy was the cornerstone of her family, weaving a tapestry of love and support that bound us together. Whether cheering on the sidelines, teaching the intricacies of making potato sausage, or crafting holiday programs, her grandchildren, Alicia, Megan, and Libby (Sievert), David and Kyle (Tebo), Erin and Bret (Tebo), and Zach (Martin) are forever enriched.
Always curious and wanting to learn, she became a very talented water color artist, including a showing at Appleton’s Trout Gallery. She orchestrated sales of select pieces with 100% of the profits donated to breast cancer research. Her paintings color the hallways and cafe at The Heritage today. Her yearning to learn and search for truths and justice kept her mind active and full of questions until the day she died.
Nancy is preceded in death by her husband Norm Tebo, her youngest son Michael, and sister Molly Landis. She is survived by her remaining children, Dave (Barb) Tebo, Kris (Rick) Sievert, Paul (Kathy) Tebo, and Kay Martin along with eight grandchildren and two great grandchildren. She held a special place in her heart for her nieces Sandy and Sally, and nephew John (Landis) and their families.
Her legacy will endure through the lives she touched, the lessons she taught, and the unwavering pursuit of service and concern for humanity that she modeled.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. The family has created a Coach and Nancy Tebo Memorial Scholarship at Appleton West High School for deserving seniors. In lieu of flowers, past students and friends who might like to honor Nancy’s legacy and commitment to teaching with a gift may send a check titled “Nancy Tebo Memorial” to Wichmann’s Funeral Homes, 537 N. Superior St., Appleton, WI 54911, or Venmo to @Nancy-Tebo-1.