Nancy Jane Inglis Atkinson, 1934–2023

Nancy Jane Inglis Atkinson passed away peacefully on Tuesday, March 28, 2023 at the age of 88. She was born in Cleveland Ohio on May 11, 1934. She was the only child of Margaret Jones Inglis and George M. Inglis.

Nancy Jane Inglis Atkinson

Nancy’s early childhood was spent in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Indiana. Her family moved to Oakland, Calif. in 1947 where she spent the remainder of her youth. Nancy graduated from Fremont High School in 1952 and then attended San Jose State University. She graduated in 1956 with a degree in advertising and journalism. While at college, Nancy became a member of Alpha Chi Omega and developed close life-long friendships. She remained very close to her sorority sisters often being in touch with them weekly.

She met her college sweetheart, Herbert Dorsey Atkinson, at the wedding of two mutual friends. Dorsey swept her off her feet. They married in Piedmont, Calif. in August of 1956—the beginning of a beautiful 66-year bond. 

The couple temporarily relocated to Tennessee after Dorsey was drafted into the 101st Air Borne, but were finally able to establish their roots in Exeter, Calif. after his service ended. Nancy always said she was a “Big City Girl” who married “The Farm.” She loved Exeter and became a local by involving herself in the community, becoming a friend to many, and joining multiple clubs and social organizations.

Nancy was an active member of both the Exeter Garden Club and the Exeter Woman’s Club. She was a loyal member of Exeter’s First Presbyterian Church where she served as an elder, trustee and deacon. In 1977 Nancy served on the Grand Jury of Tulare County. Her many contributions were recognized when she was honored by being named Exeter’s Woman of the Year in 1978. 

Nancy and Dorsey had three sons: Kirk Lane, David Inglis, and Troy Mark. In their youth, Nancy was active supporting and volunteering in their schooling and various activities such as sports, church and 4-H. 

Even though the boys are grown men, Nancy was often quoted saying, “You will always be my sons and I will always be looking out for you.” She cherished her relationships with her sons’ wives and especially loved having more females in the family after being outnumbered by males for so long. From those unions, Nancy had a total of eight grandchildren and was deeply interested in each of their lives and activities.

A celebration of Nancy’s life will take place at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 2023 at the First Presbyterian Church, 200 S. E St. in Exeter. Immediately after the celebration service will be a reception for all to come. Please address any donations to the Memorial Fund of the First Presbyterian Church, Exeter.

Arrangements by Smith Family Chapel, Exeter. Online condolences may be sent to the family through

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