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After a long, happy, sometimes spectacular life, Nancy "Nan" Victoria Davis Tomlinson Van Every entered her eternal home on January 25 at the age of 101. Nan was born November 29, 1922, to Elva Wall and John Neal Davis in Winston Salem, NC. She was the sixth of nine siblings, which eventually led to 22 nieces and nephews. She attended RJ Reynolds High School and the music program at Mars Hill College, graduating from Meredith College in Arts and Music in 1943. Nan acted in summer stock theatre with Ed Ames, Andy Griffith, and Jean Stapleton. She was an accomplished artist, seamstress, designer, pianist, singer, and puppeteer who taught dental care to children in schools across the country for the Good Teeth Council.
Nan married Worth Evan Tomlinson in 1950 and moved to Wilkes County where they raised horses and three sons in a beautiful small town soon to become an industrious community. The family was active in the First Methodist Church and Nan sang in the choir. She began an interior decorating business in 1960 to fulfill her dreams of designing and building homes and offices. Her business, Nan Davis Interiors, began in a tiny home office, and eventually grew to include carpentry shops, drapery shops, showrooms, dozens of employees, and a furniture delivery crew that included her sons and husband. Her husband Worth died in 1974. Nan’s sons are: Worth Evan "Tomm" Tomlinson, Jr. (Robin), Neal Rousseau Tomlinson, and James Davis "Jay" Tomlinson (Jill) with one grandchild and three great grandchildren. In 1977, she married Captain Salem Augustus Van Every Jr., a retired Navy Officer, and moved to Charlotte before establishing her home in Naples, Florida. Nan and Salem both loved traveling and golf, and their marriage was marked by beautiful trips around the world. Together they designed and built elegant homes in Charlotte and Grandfather Golf and Country Club in Linville, and in Naples, Florida. Nan and Salem were members of Christ Episcopal Church in Charlotte and Trinity-By-The-Cove in Naples. Marrying Salem gained Nan a stepson, Salem Lance Van Every (Bea), seven grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren.
Nan’s vibrant, lively personality served her well throughout her lifetime, yielding dozens of valued friendships and connections across industries and throughout the world. One treasured lifelong friendship was with Gertrude Parsons which began with the care of Nan’s sons in 1951.
Nan may perhaps be best remembered through her many philanthropic endeavors. Her vision and generosity helped to fulfill many community dreams, including the Nan Davis Van Every Auditorium in the Walker Center at Wilkes Community College, scholarships at Meredith College, Lees-McCrae College, Appalachian State University, and NC State University, as well as support for the Crossnore Communities for Children. She established the Worth E. Tomlinson Rotary Club Fairgrounds in North Wilkesboro which provides college scholarships for Wilkes County students. She supported children’s cardiovascular medical care as a long-serving Director of the Heineman-Robicsek Foundation, establishing the Nan Van Every Cardiology Diagnostic Network in 2010, and supporting the Francis Robicsek Endowed Chair in Cardiovascular Surgery at the Sanger Heart & Vascular Institute of Atrium Health.
Funeral services will be held at 2:00 PM on Saturday, February 17 at the Tomlinson/Van Every Family Crypt at Scenic Memorial Gardens, 545 Moravian Falls Road, Wilkesboro, NC. The Rev. Steve Snipes will officiate. A visitation/reception will be held from 12:00 noon until 1:30 PM prior to the service at Scenic Memorial Gardens. Attendees will be invited to share a brief remembrance of Nan if they wish. Burial services will follow at the family crypt.
Flowers will be accepted, or memorials may be made to the donor's choice.