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Nancy Joan Poe

Teacher, mother of resident, political activist

Nancy Poe. (Courtesy photo)

Nancy Joan (Green) Poe, the daughter of Edythe Mae (Griffith) Green and George Overton Green, was born in 1940 at home in Franklin, Ohio, during a flood. Nancy’s unorthodox entry into the world signaled her approach to life—a life done on Nancy’s terms.

In high school, Nancy excelled in drama, English, physical education, and social science classes (not so much in Spanish or math). She spent her summers lifeguarding at Cincinnati public pools and working at her grandmother’s restaurant. With the support of her mother and grandmother, Nancy graduated with honors from Norwood High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1958.

Edythe insisted that Nancy get a college education. After a first-semester GPA of 1.7 at the University of Cincinnati, Nancy quit hanging out at the bowling alley and focused on her studies. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1962, got married to Marvin Poe, and started teaching high school history. When her son, Bradford, was born, Nancy quit teaching and enrolled in graduate school. She received her master’s degree in education from Miami University in 1968.

Nancy’s daughter Mya was born in 1970. Nancy embraced the moment, joining a bowling league, jarring honey from Marvin’s bees, and volunteering as a naturalist at Governor Bebb Park in Okeana, Ohio.

When Nancy returned to teaching in 1977, she found her passion in teaching third-grade math and science at Morgan Elementary School in Butler County, Ohio. Nancy was honored for her teaching excellence with a Jennings Foundation Fellowship and in 1991 was named “Mathematics Teacher of the Year” by the Ohio Council of Teachers

After 23 years of teaching at Morgan Elementary, Nancy turned her attention to local politics. In 1999, she ran for township trustee. She won the election, the first (and only) woman to hold office as a Morgan Township trustee.

Over the next 16 years, Nancy would champion zoning policies and encourage farm owners to put their land into conservation. She worked on township projects, such as the Walt Westrich Community Center and the 1858 Morgan House Township Museum. She was named the 2009 “Butler County Historian of the Year” and was president of Vine Street Hill Cemetery from 2007–2021.

When Marvin died in 2015, Nancy became a regular visitor to Harvard. Nancy loved Harvard. There was not an event with her grandchildren to be missed, whether it be drum recitals at Groton Hill Music or art shows at the Village Nursery School.

On Dec. 13 Nancy died peacefully—on her own terms.

Nancy is survived by her daughter, Mya Poe, son-in-law, John Cogan, and grandchildren, Vivienne and Jack, of Harvard. She was predeceased by her son, Bradford James, her husband, Marvin, and her parents.

Services for Nancy and Marvin will be in Morgan Township in summer 2023. In lieu of flowers, Nancy would want you to learn about nature, history, and science, and to support local public school teachers. Please send donations to the Morgan Township Historical Society, Three Valley Conservation Trust, and the Village Nursery School.


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