Nancy Loree Greenfield, 63, of Missoula, passed away on Tuesday February 15th, 2022 at home amongst her closest family, after a battle with Ovarian Cancer.
She was born on August 23rd, 1958, in Helena, Montana to William Charles Greenfield and Betty Ann Stokes Greenfield. Her love for Montana, nature, and history was sparked from an early age thanks to lots of camping trips with her family, riding horses on her parent’s property, and listening to her grandparent’s stories. In her teen years she attended both Helena Highschool and Hellgate Highschool, and graduated in 1976.
On April 26th 1980 she married Glenn Schmidt and had two children in the following years, Jake in 1984 and Sonja in 1987. During this time Nancy started her cleaning business which she ran until she retired last year. She was a hard worker and a kind and loving boss. This business granted her freedom with her schedule to explore Montana and raise her kids, and also introduced her to so many of her closest friends.
In 1996 Nancy became a photographer, taking many classes at The Rocky Mountain School of Photography to expand her skills and knowledge behind the lens. She was impassioned about following her Great-Grandfather, H.H. Nelson’s, path through Montana and the building of the St. Mary’s, Milk River irrigation project near Glacier National Park. Nancy would put a bed in the back of her van and take off on big adventures exploring her own family’s history and the history of the First People’s of Montana and would use her art to express what she learned. She has wrote beautiful stories about some of her images on her website: https://www.nancygreenfieldphotography.com
Nancy was an adventure seeker and world traveler, spending over a month with her daughter, country hopping in Europe in 2003. She took many trips with her son to the east coast and down to the desert for photo expeditions; their most recent being a trip to Monument Valley in May of 2021. She travelled to Spain for a month with her sister, Jan Rach, in October 2020 for alternative cancer treatment, Egypt with a group of Missoula friends in 2010, and could be convinced to go on any Montana adventure at the drop of a hat. She was eventually invited to hike to Chief Mountain, Ninaistako, with dear friends in 2009, one of the highlights of her life.
She was a member of the Crystal Club, Sierra Club, Photographer Club, and many other groups such as Tango, scriptwriters, and oral-histories. She was dedicated to attending as many Traveler’s Rest presentations as she could, always excited to learn and hear others’ stories. She was a master gardener, a made-from-scratch chef, an inspired artist, a family history enthusiast, a student, a teacher, a storyteller, a listener, a loving mother, grandmother, boss, and friend.
Survivors include her son Jake Schmidt, of Aspen, daughter Sonja Schmidt (Jason) and Granddaughter Deia Harding, of Missoula, sister Janet Greenfield Rach (Dennis) of Stevensville, and many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Nancy’s final resting place is the natural cemetery in the Swan Valley, surrounded by the beautiful mountains she loved. Near her resting place is Van Lake, which as a family we decided, could not be a more perfect place to visit her spirt.
We will have a Celebration of Nancy’s Life on Wednesday April 6th at 1:00pm at Orchard Homes Country Life Club in Missoula (2537 S. Third St. W. Missoula, MT 59804). She requested a potluck, band, and all-around good time to celebrate the amazing woman that she was.
For those that reached out wanting to purchase a piece of her art, we plan to have a Gallery Sale in the springtime, most likely April. We will keep everyone posted on our plans for this.
In lieu of flowers – please donate to the Montana Historical Society https://mhs.mt.gov/about/donate