Canada 02

Nancy Virginia (Carpenter) Zak

April 7, 1943 ~ May 15, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old


Nancy C Zak, nee Nancy Virginia Carpenter, transitioned on Monday, May 15, 2023. A resident of the Albuquerque area since 1974, she was born in Oakland, CA and grew up in Pleasant Hill, CA where she went to UC Berkeley and earned her Bachelors of Arts, Masters and a PhD. Nancy spent her junior year abroad at the Universite' de Bordeaux and later attended the German Summer School in Taos. Nancy was interested in European and Native American cultures. Her PhD dissertation was in medieval languages and literatures including French, Provencial and German. It sold out published as a book and received high praise. People will remember her by her hearty laugh and her love of dogs. Nancy taught at two Bay Area junior colleges, the University of California at Berkeley, the College of St Joseph's on the Rio Grande, the University of New Mexico Belen and Albuquerque and the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. 

Her Inuit father, John Carpenter, was born in Tuktoyakatuk, Canada, just across the Alaskan boarder. He grew up at the Jesse Lee School Orphanage in Unalaska, Alaska, just across the Alaskan border. He was a member of the 5th Army Signal Corps with General Patton and was a survivor of the Battle of the Bulge. Her brother, John, who also preceded her in death, was a lawyer. Her uncle, Fred Realy, was a fire chief. Her Inuit cousin, Noah Carpenter, was the first Inuit triple and quadruple bypass surgeon. Nancy has many cousins on the Inuit side of the family. 

A Celebration of her Life will be Tuesday, May 30, 2023 at 1:00pm at FRENCH-Lomas. Her final resting place will be at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery. 

To send flowers to the family, please visit our floral store.


Celebration of Life
May 30, 2023

1:00 PM
FRENCH - Lomas
10500 Lomas Blvd. NE
Albuquerque, NM 87112


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