Cover photo for Nancy Helen Ehinger's Obituary
Nancy Helen Ehinger Profile Photo
1934 Nancy 2022

Nancy Helen Ehinger

August 19, 1934 — July 29, 2022

Nancy Helen Ehinger, beloved sister, mother, grandmother, and creative artist, passed away peacefully three weeks before her 88th birthday on Friday, July 29, 2022. She was able to remain at the home she loved in West Branch, surrounded by her family, who gathered at her side during a brief and sudden illness.

Nancy was born on Sunday, August 19, 1934 in Detroit, MI to Glenden and Helen (Gross) Stephenson. After graduating from Redford Union High School in 1952, she worked as a photographer’s assistant until she married her first husband, James Savage, in 1954. Together they moved to Standish, MI where they raised five children until James’ untimely death in 1968.

The summer after being widowed, Nancy took her five children on a cross-country road trip, an adventure they will never forget. Determined to support her family as a single mother, she attended Saginaw Valley College full-time and graduated with a degree in elementary education. During this time, she remained active with the Cooperative Extension group in Standish, where she made life-long friends.

Shortly after graduating from SVC, she met the second love of her life, Delbert Ehinger, while she was in a league at the bowling alley he owned in Standish. They were married in 1973 and together had Nancy’s sixth child.

After retiring to West Branch with Del in 1978, Nancy worked for a short time as a substitute teacher, but mostly focused on creative endeavors. She was a quilter, painter, basket weaver, wood carver, and needle worker of all sorts. She was active in the arts community, including the Creative Arts Association, Victorian Art Fair, and many quilting groups including the Out To Lunch Bunch (which she hosted every Wednesday at her home), Rifle River Quilt Guild, and Michigan Quilt Network.

After Del passed in 2007, Nancy maintained the “Ehinger Estate” mostly on her own, insisting on mowing the many-acre lawn until just a couple months before her passing.

In 2012, she met James MacMillan, who became her beloved companion and best friend until her death.

Nancy’s Catholic faith was important to her, and she was an active member of St. John the Baptist Church in Standish then St. Joseph Catholic Church in West Branch, where she frequently served as a eucharistic minister.

Surviving family include her sister Darlene (Bill) Burson of Chandler, AZ; children Donald (Lynn) Savage of Sterling, Linda Savage Gottschalk of Alma, Robert Savage of Baltimore, MD, Peggy Scott of Roscommon, Stephen (Laura) Savage of Fayetteville, NC, and Jeanne (Ted) Kraimer of Cedar; her grandchildren Becca (Brandon) Pine, Jessica (Paul) Fultz, Emily Krantz, Carolyn Beiser, Megan Gottschalk, Frank Savage, Timothy (Maricel) Savage, Mallory Savage, Danielle (Zach) Gerdes, Mandy (Jim) Kramer, Josh (Diana) Scott, Shannon (Kyle) Johnson, Nick Savage, and Logan Savage; as well as her great grandchildren Brenna, Jakob, Brielle, Stormy, Zachary, Peyton, Olivia, Brock, Daphne, Kyleigh, Carter, London, A-J, Finley, Ginny, Colum, Delaney, Miriam, Eli, Simeon, Betty, Henry and soon-to-be-born Isabel, as well as another great grandchild on the way.

She is preceded in death by her parents, brother Thomas Stephenson, first husband James Savage, second husband Delbert Ehinger, son-in-law Daniel Gottschalk, daughter-in-law Rose Savage, son-in-law Mark Scott, and grandson-in-law Brett Beiser.

Visitation for Nancy will be at the Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Home in West Branch on Thursday, August 4, 2022, from 2-6 pm. A rosary will be said at 2:00 pm. Her funeral mass will be held Friday, August 5, 2022, at 11:00 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church with visitation starting at 10:00 am. Burial will follow at the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Father Emmanuel Finbarr will officiate.

After the burial, please join her family to share memories of Nancy during a luncheon at the Knights of Columbus Hall in West Branch.
Memorial contributions can be made in the name of Nancy Ehinger to St. Vincent De Paul of West Branch, where she volunteered for several years.

The family would also like to thank ProMedica Heartland Hospice, whose wonderful care helped keep Nancy comfortable at home.

Online condolences can be shared at www.steuernolmclaren.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Nancy Helen Ehinger, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Rosary

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Steuernol & McLaren Funeral Homes - West Branch

109 East Houghton Avenue, West Branch, MI 48661

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Visitation

Friday, August 5, 2022

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, August 5, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Burial

St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery

, West Branch, MI 48661

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