For those wondering about the odd name, Nancy65teddybears, this was the screen name used by my husband’s mother Nancy. I would say mother-in-law, but the phrase ‘mother-in-law’ tends to get a bad rap sometimes. Nancy was the warmest, nicest person I have ever met. She welcomed me into the family with open arms. I never heard her say a bad thing about anyone.
Nancy loved Teddy Bears. She would just buy one because she liked it’s looks. She would pick-up a bear on trips, or vacations. She would see one and buy it then it would go with her for the rest of the trip. But it wasn’t only the soft plush teddy bear, she sometimes wore a teddy bear pin, or blouse, earrings or necklace. She had bears everywhere. There were bear blankets, cups, dishes, candle sticks, clocks, wind chimes, jewelry and Christmas decorations to name some of the bear related items.
Some might even say she went a little overboard with Teddy Bears.
Nancy’s approach to Teddy Bears was simply to buy what she like. Everyone knew she loved Teddy Bears so she received many as gifts. Though she knew of those who ‘serious’ collectors, she never really became a truly serious collector until after her grandson was born. She started to think that maybe the bears would be there for his future.
As the bear family grew, she decided that it was time to organize her bears. She posed them, took pictures, did write-ups and organized into to notebooks.
All her teddy bears were precious to her, whether it was a ‘collectible’ bear she purchased for the future or the little dollar store bears that her grandson or a student would give as a present. All were photographed and placed in her notebooks. If it had a bear on it she owned it!! There are ten completed photobooks and enough photos and information for perhaps a couple of more! She eventually became too ill to complete her books.
Widowed at 29 with two small boys, aged 5 and 3 years old in 1966, she worked as a seamstress while going back to school to become re-certified as a teacher. She later obtained a Master’s Degree. She worked as teacher for many years, and then later became trained as an Exceptional Children’s teacher.
She worked with children with severe physical and/or mental disabilities and unfortunately some were also abused.
Teddy Bears were often used to teach, tell stories or for just comfort.
Teddy Bears were dressed for holidays and occasions. The children loved her bears and always enjoyed it when they came to school, especially Wilbur Bear.
Every bear, whether plush, figurine, ornament, or whatever form it took was in her notebooks. I have only gone through 4 books and have a list of over 500 bears or bear items!!! I have created this page for Nancy and for all teddy bear lovers.
Her teddy bears were with her through chemo and surgery for breast cancer. Nancy was a five year survivor of breast cancer, but she developed pulimonary hypertension and later the cancer returned to her lungs. She died June 6, 2007.
This little bear wearing a picture of Cory on a dinosaur (taken when he was 2 yrs) was placed in her casket. Cory said she needed to have a Teddy Bear in heaven with her.
We loved her and her bears and have been very reluctant to go through the process of deciding what to keep and what to sell. We will keep some of her favorites, some of our favorites and no doubt Wilbur will be dressed in his best for her younger sons' wedding this summer.----And our home will be decorated with bears this Christmas!!
The future for Nancy's grandson Cory has come a little sooner than we anticipated. As a EC teacher, Nancy saw what some parents do not, even us. He is a Asperger's Child and as he approaches highschool, we find the local educational offering somewhat limited for this intelligent and very socially naive child. He attended a Camp for Asperger's and High Functioning autistic children last year. The experience did wonders for his self-esteem and self-reliance. He would like to attend the school associated with this program and we would like for him to go.
Visit often to see Nancy's bears. If you see anything you like, let us know.