Nancy Hawkins Meyer


Nancy and Dick in collegeYoung Love

Nancy met Dick Meyer at Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, where they were both working backstage on a play. She was engaged at the time to Werner, but broke it off soon after and started dating Dick. They married a year after graduation on September 19, 1951.

After they were married, they moved to Evanston, Illinois and lived in a basement apartment while Dick did graduate coursework at Northwestern University. Nancy worked at G.E. Searle & Co., the pharmaceutical company that introduced The Pill. (Years later, chemists told Nancy it was her insistence that they work on something to cure cramps that led them in that direction.)

After Dick completed his graduate degree at NU, the young couple moved from Evanston to Springfield in their 1936 Chevy, packed to the rafters, and had seven flats along the way. Nancy was eight months pregnant, and Dick was unemployed, so they stayed with her family temporarily. Dick quickly got a job offer at Arkansas State University, with classes starting immediately. So he lived and worked in Jonesboro, driving up to Springfield on the weekends. He had just returned from one of these weekends when Chris was born.

"I'd just been there the weekend before," Dick recalls. "I remember making Nancy take long walks to encourage the baby to come, as I kept up with her on my old bicycle. I drove back to Arkansas, getting there late Sunday night.  Monday morning early I got a call from Dad who said, 'You'd better come, Nancy is in the Hospital.'  So I got in that old car and started driving, and you guessed it, I had a flat.  Otherwise I would have made it on time."

Nancy continued to live with her mother in Springfield until Chris was several weeks old and they were both able to move to Jonesboro and start their new life together as a family.

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