Nancy J. Buchanan

nancy  buchanan

October 12, 1933 ~ February 8, 2024

Born in: Springfield, Missouri
Resided in: Great Falls , Virginia

On Thursday, February 8, 2024, Nancy Buchanan, beloved wife, mother and grandmother, passed away at Ashby Ponds in Ashburn, VA. She was 90 years old.

Nancy Stephenson Jess was born on October 12, 1933 in Springfield, Missouri to Morris and Aileen Jess. She had a happy childhood filled with traveling, camping, canoeing and fishing with her family, including her younger brother, Buddy, and her Girl Scout friends. She attended Greenwood, a private school, where she made friends whom she cherished all her life.

Nancy graduated from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. While attending the University she met her future husband, Gerald Henry Buchanan, at a Pi Beta Phi social event. They married in December 18, 1954. Gerald was a career Army officer, which matched well with Nancy’s adventurous spirit. They both embraced the many moves they made across the country and the world: they lived in over 29 places in 25 years including Vicenza, Italy, Heidelberg, Germany and Frankfurt, Germany. They had two daughters, Stephanie and Tracy. Nancy was a creative homemaker, making each new place feel like home. She was also an excellent cook and excelled at all the entertaining required of an Army officer’s wife. She was an involved parent, leading Brownie troops, acting as room mother, chauffeuring to activities and horseback riding lessons, and providing constant encouragement. If attention is the greatest demonstration of love, then Nancy loved her family and her friends very much. She listened. She paid attention.

After Gerald retired from his final Army assignment at the Pentagon, Nancy started working for the Fairfax County Public Library. Initially she worked on a branch circulation desk and was later promoted to Branch Manager at Mini-Libraries in Fair Oaks Mall and Burke. She was a founding member of Chapter AV of PEO in Burke where she made many friends and was an active participant for years. She was also a regular attendee at the retired library employees’ book club and lunch group.

Travel, seeing new places and trying new foods were passions for Nancy. Almost every weekend while they lived in Europe, she had the family on the road, using “Europe on $5 a Day” as her guide. When they returned to the

States, she continued to try new restaurants. Eating out was an enjoyable hobby for her. Moving to Ashby Ponds retirement community with Gerald in 2014 offered her a chance to explore new restaurants in Loudoun County. She met new friends at Ashby Ponds and enjoyed happy hours and glasses of wine with them each night before dinner.

Nancy had a warm and outgoing spirit, making everyone feel welcome. Hospitality was ingrained in her so she was always polite and helpful. Her big smile greeted friends and strangers alike. She loved meeting new people. Her affections extended to her pets. She had dogs from childhood on and loved them all.

Nancy is survived by her daughters Stephanie Buchanan Berkin (Jeff) and Tracy Buchanan Ramey (Scott) and by her grandson, Andrew Berkin. Her husband, Gerald Henry Buchanan (1928-2016), preceded her in death as did her parents, Aileen and Morris Jess, and her brother, Morris (Buddy).

A memorial service will be held at Immanuel Presbyterian Church at 1125 Savile Lane, McLean VA 22101 on Saturday, February 24, 2024 at 2:00 PM If you prefer, in lieu of flowers, please donate to Cure Alzheimer’s Fund at


Memorial Service: February 24, 2024 2:00 pm

Immanuel Presbyterian Church
1125 Saville Lane
McLean, VA 22101


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  1. The Owners and Staff at the Money and King Funeral Home, wish to express our sincere sympathy to you. It is our hope that we may be able to make a difficult time more bearable. Please feel free to call us anytime as we are always available to you.

    Bob Gallagher
    Funeral Director

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