Nancy Hawkins Meyer


Breakdown on 110

Sometimes the drive was just too much
for the old Buick Special.

In 1957, the family moved to Grinnell, Iowa, a small town of 7,000, where Dick taught at Grinnell College. They lived in faculty housing before buying their first home (for $12,000): a yellow farmhouse on Summer Street. David was born here in 1961.

Summer Street house

Every summer that the family lived in Florida, Dick directed at the Asolo Theatre in Sarasota. Sometimes this meant all six of them living in a small motel apartment. Once the family rented a sprawling old house and had plenty of space.

Jenni at Sandpiper Motel

In 1967, after a summer in Kalamazoo, the family moved to Tallahassee, Florida, where Dick had a teaching job with the Florida State University theatre department.

Parga Street house

In 1967, the family moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan for the summer, where Dick had a job directing "Viet Rock" at the university. They rented a one-bedroom duplex and furnished it with crates and odd pieces borrowed from the theatre's prop shop. The kids all slept on army cots in the converted garage.

Bill Leach in Kalamazoo

In 1956, the family moved to South Bend, Indiana, where Dick had a job teaching at Notre Dame College. Beth was born there in 1957.

Jenni and Beth


In 1952, Dick got his first teaching job at Arkansas State in Jonesboro. Nancy, who was eight months pregnant with Chris stayed behind in Springfield with her mother. Dick made it back in time for the birth, and as soon as Chris was old enough to travel, they joined Dick in Arkansas, where Jennifer was born two years later.


Although Nancy was born and raised in St. Louis, most of her extended family was in Springfield, and that is where she and her mother lived after her father died. She went to Drury College there, where she met Dick, also from Springfield.

Walnut Street house

In 1964, the family left Grinnell and moved to New York for a year, where Dick spent his sabbatical working in Lincoln Center. All six lived in a one-bedroom apartment on Staten Island.

Nancy was born and raised in St. Louis, and after her divorce in 1975, she returned there with Beth and David. They rented a duplex in Webster Groves and Nancy became a realtor. A decade later, she purchased a two-family home around the corner, where she lived for 20 years.

In 1974, the family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Dick headed the Theatre Department at University of Michigan.

Frederick Street houst

our apartment (top floor)


In 2005, Nancy left St. Louis and moved to Houston to be near her daughter, Beth, and her family. She now lives in Atria Retirement Living.


When Nancy married Dick, she signed on for a life of adventure and travel. If you count all the moves back and forth for summer work, she and her family moved 18 times in 22 years, and each of her four children were born in different states.

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In 1969, the family moved to Florence, Italy for six months while Dick taught in an FSU extension program. Nancy taught herself Italian and home schooled the children.