Nancy C. Potter
Nancy C. Potter sadly passed away on February 6th, 2021, at Cottage Hospital. She was born Nancy Bettridge, in Chicago, Illinois, in 1926, and spent her young childhood in Hinsdale, Illinois, while her father John Bettridge commuted to an insurance company in Chicago. Nancy grew up in the town of Hinsdale, with her brother Bob and her mother, Jeannette. After the death of her father, her mother remarried Frank Crum, when Nancy was 12 years old, and he adopted Nancy and her brother. She later attended the private boarding schools, Dana Hall, in Wellesley, Massachusetts, and Kingswood, near Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She went on to art school at Finch, in New York, after which she married Camille M. Shaar, a Lt. Commander in the Navy, at the end of W.W. II. They had two daughters and moved to South Bend, Indiana, until the late 1950’s , where her husband worked as an engineer for Bendix. When he was hired by GM, they moved the family to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and finally in 1960, the family arrived in Santa Barbara, where he worked at Delco.
While in South Bend, Nancy and a friend enjoyed creating a small business called Naneen Crafts, which sold many items to major department stores in Chicago. Nancy also joined a local community theater. In each town, she returned to take college classes, while her daughters were in school. In Santa Barbara, she also became involved with the Assistance League and Transition House charities. She enjoyed volunteering and playing bridge and continuing her artistic pursuits.
In 1979, she later remarried David S. Potter, a VP at General Motors, and moved to Bloomfield Hills, Michigan for a few years, eventually returning to Santa Barbara, where Nancy and Dave retired to their home in Montecito. They often treated his grown children and grandchildren, as well as hers, to big family reunions in interesting places. They both loved to play bridge, golf, read, work on their crossword puzzles, and make unique wooden hand painted toys and gifts for their children and grandchildren. They traveled the world together and had wonderful stories to tell. After Dave passed away, Nancy continued to paint her lovely oil paintings at The Portico Gallery in Montecito, and gift many of them to her family. She still loved her bridge games with friends and her puzzles, as well as books, and visits from her grandchildren and great grandchildren, who called her “Gigi.”
She is lovingly remembered as a warm and caring mother, a very special and generous grandmother, an elegant great grandmother, a tireless community contributor and friend, as well as a wonderful artist, with a curious mind. Her creativity and loving spirit will be missed and yet always with us. She is survived by her daughters, Jeannette DeConde and Camille Segna and Cami’s husband Dan Segna, her grandsons, David DeConde and Benita Tsao, Rob DeConde and Anna Kirby, their two daughters, Alexandra and Quinlan, Adam and Jenny DeConde and their son Owen and daughter Violet, Ken Segna and his wife Laura and daughter Rowan, and Brian Segna. She will be remembered by Dave’s four children: Bill, Tom, Diana, and Janice and their families, as well as her good friend Don Bowles.
All of us will miss her and fondly recall our many family trips together and our happy years enjoying dinner and games at her home. Those sweet memories and her kind and loving nature are forever in our hearts. There will be a deferred Celebration of Life for family and friends, when it is safe to gather once again.
In lieu of flowers, any donations will be gratefully accepted by the Assistance League of Santa Barbara, and Transition House.