It is with the heaviest of hearts that we report that Nancy Hiller died earlier this morning.
We don’t have any information on a service or memorial. When we know something, we will post it here. In the meantime, if you want to remember her, you can read this tribute about this remarkable woman we posted in May.
— Christopher Schwarz
100 thoughts on “Nancy Hiller (1959-2022)”
Sad news. I never met her but enjoyed knowing her and of her work via her writing. Condolences.
That we knew it was coming doesn’t change how heartbreaking it is one bit.
While I never met her personally, this news saddens me greatly.
I had the good fortune to have made Nancy’s acquaintance through that most modern of means, email and instagram. I had bought a couple of books from her directly, and we struck up a small correspondence. She was kind, quick with a nice word, and the knowledge she imparted was valuable.
I was delighted to have been able to help with the gofundme for her treatment, and I know that many others here were also.
Our woodworking world is a little smaller with her passing, but she grew our world with her creative work.
May we always remember her.
My heart breaks from the news of Nancy’s passing. In the back of my mind I knew this day was coming but prayed for a miracle. My deepest condolences to her family, pets, and all who loved her.
No!!!!!!! Such an immense loss. Nancy was first class, in every way.
My condolences to Mark.
Oh my …
Sad news, indeed.
Sad day for all.
I am so sorry to see that Nancy died. What a tremendous loss to Mark, her family and the woodworking community.
Shocked and deeply saddened by this news. As a student woodworker and a woman I learnt and am still learning so much from her writing and her work. Reading her work was part of my daily routine. So sorry to all her friends
Sympathies to Nancy’ husband and family. Know that she is at peace now.
Thanks Chris for the update. Sad news indeed. I very much liked Nancy’s work and writing. Life is too short.
Aw, damn! Pancreatic cancer is merciless. Even if one could sense this might be coming, it is still a gut punch. To all of Nancy’s family and friends, I am so very sorry for your loss. I am holding Nancy and all of you in my heart and sending thoughts of peace and love.
Oh man this makes me so sad. Though I never met her, I am sure she was a true light. Loved her writing, sense of humor, and the path she inspired for so many. Social Media has brought us many good things, and she was one of them. Smiling at a screen of Tony the shop cat, and sharing Buck the kitty pictures knowing she smiled back. I wish all of her friends and family the best. There is a huge void today because of her passing. She will be missed by many.
So sorry to hear this. It’s been a tough battle for her. Now her pain is behind her. So she can rest in piece.
I knew this was coming but it still hurts. I met her only a handful of times but she had a big influence on my woodworking. I can only imagine the pain of those who are close to her. I’m so sorry for the loss
Her family, friends, craft, & our society has lost someone who enriched us and made the world better for her effort.
Gone to soon. She will be missed. My condolences to Mark.
My condolences to Mark and her family. Even though I had never met her, reading her through the years felt like she was a friend. I will miss her.
I’m very sad to hear the news. Nancy and I had a lot of correspondence during my son’s treatments and then with hers.
I will miss you Nancy — the world is a better place because of your efforts and the lives you touched. Your spirit and determination was and remains an inspiration to all of us.
God Speed Nancy
OMG! this is SUCH sad news!
BUT Nancy has left a legacy and impacted SO many lives and challenged us to make ourselves better. She WILL be missed!
We have lost a remarkable person and woodworker, who will be remembered by many for a long time to come…
What a huge loss. So very sad.
Nancy Hiller was truly a remarkable lady. She made her own way, and brightened the world as she went. I never met her, but I have read her books and articles, and I admired her wisdom and kindness.
So sad to hear. My deepest condolences to all her family and friends. God’s speed Nancy!
She influenced my own kitchen design, I loved her postings of biographies here on this blog and her Instagram posts of Joey, Tony and Mark. My condolences to her family and friends. We will miss her.
Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. You will be missed. Take a load off and pour yourself some of the good stuff. You earned it.
Of course she’s laughing in the photo. She had a laugh that you wouldn’t soon forget. An amazing person, she taught us a lot – and the important stuff was not woodworking. Condolences to Mark.
Very unexpected and sad to hear. My deepest condolences to her family.
Heartbreaking. Knowing it was coming doesn’t change that one bit. She was an amazing lady.
An incredible loss. She brought so much to this world.
How very sad. She was an inspiration to us all.
So sorry for your loss and the loss to the woodworking community.
So very sad. She was and inspiration to us all.
Although I never met her, hearing this news still sent me to tears. Condolences to everyone. We will miss her deeply.
While, alas, not unexpected, this is still so, so sad news.
I never met Nancy in person, only once to speak to on zoom and also through some exchanges here, but, as I think is true for many others, was touched and felt spoken to by and truly admired her writing and (on all the same counts) her woodworking, and much appreciated the honesty, integrity, warmth, humor and just plain good sense that permeated any and all of her work that I ever saw.
My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Mark, to her family and to all those who truly knew and loved her.
Nancy was an inspiration, not only in her craft, but in the way she rose above her illness to continue to enthuse, excite and inspire woodworkers across the globe. R.I.P. Your legacy will endure.
Rip Nancy you will be missed
I didn’t know Nancy but through her work and writing during her illness, and because of the great affection you and others had for her, and put in print for people like me to read, I think I got to know her a little. I forwarded some of her essays to friends, bought her kitchen book for my daughter, and, perhaps because of her, made a better place for my dog Pi to hang out in my small shop. Thanks, Nancy.
I was blessed to meet Nancy a few times. She was always warm and welcoming to say nothing of free with her amazing knowledge both in person and on the web. I hope I said thank you to her enough times.
Condolences to all her friends and family.
So very sad to hear of Nancy’s passing.
If I look at the sky tonight, I’m sure I’ll see a bright, new star.
Condolences to friends and family…..
May all who loved and were inspired by this wonderful crafts person and women find peace in the facts she gave it her all,rest in peace.
Je suis extrêmement attristé . Quelle dame splendide ! J’ai eu la chance de correspondre par courriel : qu’elle générosité à mon égard! Quelle patience !
Vraiment une perte immense .
Toutes mes sympathies.
I’m so saddened to hear this. My condolences to her family and friends. I’m grateful for having the opportunity to have met her.
Very sad to hear. I really enjoyed her book Making Things Work.
Very sad news, I very much enjoyed her books.
Such sad news. I never met Nancy, but her spirit rang so true across the letters. My condolences to her family and loved ones. A truly remarkable person. Rest In Peace, Nancy and may the road rise up to meet you.
I never met Nancy but I appreciated her craft with both words and objects. She seemed like a wonderful person. My sincere condolences to her family and friends.
It hit me hard when I read that Nancy had died. What a loss! I am among many who will miss her–and I didn’t know her.
I’m very sorry to hear this. I never met Nancy but I’ve enjoyed learning lots from her writing. I suppose these things may or may not matter depending on your perspective, but I think she leaves us with an impressive body of her work. I also thought that Nancy was very couragous in writing about her experiences during her illness. My condolences to all who knew her personally.
What an amazing, courageous, wonderful, strong willed person.
The word we were all dreading but hopefully she’s finally comfortable. I met here once but surely wish it could have been more. Her impact in the woodworking community and her adopted hometown of Bloomington, Indiana was great and will be remembered. She has left a huge legacy in both the written word and the furniture she created.
The way she handled her illness with dignity, courage, perseverance and many other virtues will be remembered.
It was no surprise to anyone that Nancy Hiller would face the most virulent of all cancers with monumental spirit and determination – making the most of life as she always had. Knowing the dire prognosis, it is still profoundly heartbreaking to hear of her passing today. No one could leave behind a greater legacy of friends, admirers of her writing talents, her professional woodworking skills, and her willingness to share all of it.
My deepest condolences to Nancy’s family and friends. I was only exposed to her work here on the blog, yet she was truly engaging and what was posted here by and about her was illuminating.
Fly free, sweet soul, your rest is well deserved. Godspeed.
Condolences and prayers to her family and friends
My deepest condolences to her family and friends. She wrote beautifully and seemed to be a lovely (as well as extremely talented and competent!) woman. May your hearts find peace amidst the storms.
Really sorry to hear this, loved reading her Sunday morning posts on woodworking, especially those on women and the challenges they face in a male dominated field.
RIP Nancy, you made the world a better place.
Apologies to the LAP crew…. Knee jerk F-bomb. Probably appropriate, and I’m sure I wasn’t the only one, but this isn’t my little patch of cyberspace to drop such things…
Sometime those four little letters are the only ones that can express grief with perfect elegance.
Oh, I know. (Yes, the anonymous reply was me, too.)
Up here around bean town, it’s just part of the local vernacular. It’s basically punctuation.
But this is their corporate sandbox, I’m sure have good, upstanding readers who will feel violated by my NorthEastern sensibilities, and I didn’t ask permission. Not my place to declare a weapons-free zone, ya know?
All that said, I had an amazing email from NH after I reviewed Kitchen Think, and I was really hoping I’d get to meet her at some point. She came across as being truly remarkable, and highly intelligent.
So… see my original comment, I guess.
I met miss Nancy at Christopher’s shop in Covington. She was a brilliant, funny, sweet lady and my heart is hurting today. She faced a lethal diagnosis with courage and positivity. I never could have managed if I was in the same place. I will miss Nancy so much. So happy she left us with a legacy of writing and the beautiful things she created. RIP, miss Nancy.
That’s is very sad news. My condolences to her family and friends.
She was an amazing human. I feel quite lucky that I have a hayrake table she made and got to visit her at her shop. This year the clump of Louisiana Iris she gifted me on that visit several years ago produced a clump of dwarf bearded iris in purple. Our table is lovely but it’s hard for me to not treasure those flowers from her garden at least as much as the table. Safe journeys, Nancy. You’ll be missed but you made the world a better place and left so much for the rest of us to remember you.
My most enjoyable read, by far, in the last couple of years was Making Things Work. As an independent book-binder, I felt each and every wince and twinge, every pinch and scrape she went through, during those times. I laughed deeply and was truly sad and sorrowful with her in times of loss during my reading. She taught me that there is a high-probability I won’t get rich, but I’ll be able to live my ethics through my work, and probably still be able to eat and pay most of my bills!
The world is a jewel less rich, a shining light darker with her no longer in it.
Sad news, my heart and thoughts go out to those close to her, and her community. Though I never met her, her writing really spoke to me. Her writing had such a friendly familiarity, it was so genuine and kind, with wonderful humor throughout. I look forward to sharing Making Things Work with my daughters when they are old enough, it has so many wonderful anecdotes on life in addition to making and business. You will be missed and remembered Nancy.
My deepest sympathies to Nancy’s family and close friends. She was very brave. A loss to our world.
rest easy, nancy! so sorry to hear the news
I think it’s a testament to Ms. Hiller (and to her Lost Art family of writers and bloggers) that I didn’t know her at all, and barely even knew her writing, or her work, and yet… even so, I feel honest grief that she is gone. Lucky for me, she left behind that work for me to see now and in the future. I’m so very sorry that there will be no more. May she Rest In Peace.
I was in Blooomington IN, at lunch today, when I read this very sad news about Nancy Hiller. My condolences to her family, friends, and the many admirers of her great talent. A great loss for all.
Thoughts and prayers to her friends and family. My son and I were able to meet her at Making Things Work book launch at LAP. She was an authentic soul full of life. May she rest in peace.
So very sad to hear, even though we knew it was inevitable. She was one of the most gifted writers of our day, interweaving her topics with so much humor. I bought most of her books and copies for my daughters.
By her writing, she’ll live forever.
Amazing person. Rest In Peace Nancy.
Tis a sad day – condolences to her family.
She was my hero and my inspiration. I will really miss her. I’m just pleased that her suffering has ended.
What sad news to hear today. She leaves an inspiring legacy – in how she worked, how she lived, and how she bravely faced this last challenge. Though I never met her, she has left an incredible impression.
My condolences to her husband, family, and all who knew and loved Nancy.
Met her and loved her!!
Terrible news. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends.
RIP Nancy! Making Things Work is not just about woodworking but how to roll with the punches of life. It was a joy to read. You left this world a better place. Thank you.
Rest in peace. May her family and friends find strength and peace as well.
Mr. Schwarz I am so very sorry for your loss of family and now one of your friends. I know just how this feels as I had to go through it as well a few years ago. Please send my condolences to Nancy’s family and friends.
My first meeting as president of the Kansas City Woodworkers’ Guild, I had the privilege to introduce Nancy as the meeting’s guest speaker. We were three days into a five day class and it had been a long day. She was gracious and funny during her autobiographical presentation. The thing I took away from her class was there’s always a solution for a problem. We all in the Guild appreciate your knowledge and friendship. We will miss you.
Extremely sad news. I enjoyed her books and blog immensely. Condolences to her family
Sad news indeed. Condolences to all close to her.
Like so many others, I hoped for a miracle. Nancy was such a force, such a powerhouse – such a survivor. It’s so hard to believe she’s gone. My heartfelt condolences to Mark, Magda and the family.
Selfish expression of grief: DAMN, I’m going to miss her work.
Human expression of grief: please accept my inadequate words of support for those who are close to the real person. Please take comfort from knowing Nancy’s work will continue to influence people long beyond this day.
Condolences to Mark and all the other people in this community that knew her personally.
I didn’t know her personally. Nonetheless, there were a lot of things about Making Things Work that really resonated with me when I read it. The stories in that book show qualities in Nancy that we all strive for in ourselves — perseverance, kindness, bravery, honesty, and an ability to find the beauty in everyday life, even when it is doing its worst to beat the happiness out of you.
The way she openly chronicled her battle with cancer on her Instagram account was another, ongoing testament to those same qualities. Forgetting the woodworking side of it, her sharing photos and thoughts about life through the lens of her garden and her pets was very meaningful.
It feels weird to say as a total stranger, but you could tell from a distance that Nancy had a heart, brain, and soul that were special, and set her a bit apart from the rest of us.
Nancy redesigned my 1927 Bloomington kitchen in 2005 and directed and refined my enthusiasm for color and complexity intelligently. The first question she asked was, “Do you cook?” When I said I did, she settled in to make the tiny space work for me. As someone who knew how much it meant to have an efficient workspace, she created an environment that brought joy every day.
My kitchen in Texas is larger, more modern than my space in beautiful B-Town, but, like Nancy, it is irreplaceable.
So sad to hear. My condolences to family and friends. A great loss to the world.
I am so sorry to hear this news. Living in the UK, I could not meet Nancy as often as I’d have liked, but we corresponded and I read some of her writing. We did meet twice — once in England and once in Indiana. I liked her immediately — she was disrmingly generous towards me and warm as well. She was also a very entertaining talker. We shared a love of John Ruskin and I was able to draw her into his Guild of St George. I only knew her furniture from photographs but found what a saw there very beautiful, both sturdy and elegant. I had wanted her to come to England to sign on as a Guild Companion; how sad that that will now never be.
Nancy was a joy and a wonderful craftsman. She made me an exquisite desk from ash with walnut pulls. Beautiful and elegant. Wo derdul joinery and finish. I treasure it
That is very sad to hear, I just finished reading ‘Making Things Work’, she sounded like an awesome lady. It is sad that will never have the chance to meet her.
My gosh. I don’t know how I missed this. Though I only knew her through her writing, I greatly admired her. I know that she will be missed by many and my deepest condolences to her friends and family.
I met her a few years ago at an Arts & Crafts show at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville, NC. I bought a copy of her latest book at the time and had her sign it. I had her write, “To Dean, the best cabinetmaker in the Upstate”. After that, I’d told her that I’d never even built a cabinet and we both had a good laugh. She was a super-nice lady and I will miss reading her blog posts. Thoughts and prayers to her family.
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