Nancy Elizabeth Coleman Dickens

Published 6:37 pm Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Nancy Elizabeth Coleman Dickens, of Scotland Neck, died Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, on her 92nd birthday. Born on Sept. 14, 1928, in Halifax County, she was the daughter of the late Susie Gardner and Irving Alexander Coleman.

Nancy graduated the 11th grade (the highest grade at the time) from Scotland Neck High School as salutatorian in 1945. She attended Louisburg College, earning a degree in Secretarial Sciences in 1947.

During high school, she worked as the bookkeeper for the family business, Coleman Lumber Mill. After working for local attorney Irwin Clark and Halifax Hosiery Mill, she went to work as a legal secretary for lifelong friend Rudolph Bryant. After Mr. Bryant’s death, she became legal assistant for Claude Kitchin Josey, who was a member of the House of Representative during the 1970s. It was her experience with Mr. Josey while in the Legislature that enabled her to work in the Senate’s Principal Clerks Office in Raleigh in 1992 and 1993.

Nancy began her second career in 1994, earning her real-estate license and working for Rochelle Realty out of Roanoke Rapids. She went on to earn her broker license and operated her own real-estate office in Scotland Neck until 2016, when she was 88.

An active member of the community, her accomplishments and recognitions are too numerous to mention. She worshipped faithfully all her life at the First Baptist Church; was on the board of directors for the Scotland Neck Memorial Library and served on the board of Sylvan Heights Bird Park.

Nancy was married to her high school sweetheart, William Lorraine Dickens, for 42 years. He preceded her in death on Jan. 14, 1989. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her five siblings and their spouses, Irving and Adele Coleman Jr., Thomas and Dorothy Coleman, George Lee and Lillian Coleman, Rose and Wilbur Weeks and Bert and Sam Edwards.

She is survived by her two children and their families: Jeff and Robin Dickens, of Washington, Jill and Frank Newsome, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire; grandchildren and their husbands, Sarah (Dickens) and Jason Swain, of Raleigh, Mallory (Dickens) and Kyle Compton, of New Bern, Brook (Newsome) and Edgar Markevicius, of Durham, Page Newsome, of Raleigh, and Amie Newsome, of Graham; great-grandchildren, Truett and Ellyson Swain, Coleman and Elizabeth Hayes Compton, Lilly and Lukas Raine Markevicius.

Nanee, as she was called by her family, took great joy in her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, loving to visit them through FaceTime. She is also survived many nieces and nephews who will deeply miss her.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of her favorite organizations: First Baptist Church, 1015 Church St., Scotland Neck, NC 27874; Scotland Neck Memorial Library, 1600 Main St., Scotland Neck, NC 27874; Sylvan Heights Bird Park, 500 Sylvan Heights Park Way, Scotland Neck, NC 27874; or online by visiting then type Nancy Dickens.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, there will be no visitation, and the memorial service will be private.

Letchworth-Sykes Funeral Service in Scotland Neck is handling the arrangements for the Dickens family. Online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting