01 February 2021
SANDPOINT, USA: When FCI’s Italian correspondent Arturo Croci sent former FCI correspondent Nancy Laws his Christmas wishes in December, he received no reply. Soon afterwards he learnt that Nancy had passed away last summer. Nancy’s expertise put her in high demand as a writer and speaker, and she frequently travelled the world to present an insider’s view of the global ornamental horticulture industry.
Nancy Lynn Laws died on July 6, 2020, in Sandpoint, Idaho. Nancy was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in late 1941, just before the Americans joined World War II. Her parents relocated to Seattle, Washington, where her father worked for Boeing as a company physician during the war. She grew up north of downtown Seattle on Queen Anne Hill, graduating from high school there.
During college, Nancy joined the Peace Corps and spent her assignment in Columbia, where she developed her interest in floriculture. She returned to finish her undergraduate degree in international relations and an MBA in international marketing at Stanford University. She lived in Miami, Florida, for many years where she started her own company importing flowers from South America to the United States.
Moving to France, she shifted her business to Europe where she did wholesale marketing of roses from growers in India and Kenya. During many years she served as contributing writer to FloraCulture International, the B2B magazine for global ornamental horticulture. She also did floriculture consulting for the European Union, the World Bank and USAID in countries like Jordan, Cyprus, Brazil, Syria, and Armenia. In Italy, she brought together Italian industry professionals with their counterparts in Jordan. Nancy also participated in the grand events of Italian floriculture such as the VI Florum in San Marino where the Cultural Association of Flowers of Giarre and Mount Etna s named her winner of the 2006 Silver Carnation Award. The annual Silver Carnation Awards recognise excellence and innovation in the field of business management, floriculture, journalism, medicine, public governance, art, entertainment and charity.
She enjoyed travelling the world, meeting new people, and connecting small family businesses with buyers across the globe. She was an excellent cook and regularly hosted dinner parties for friends and family. Her outdoor interests included skiing, windsurfing, hiking and scuba diving.
She was married once but never had children. Sharing her time between France and the United States, she established her U.S. base in Sandpoint to be nearer family. She was predeceased by her parents, Marilou Klophel Laws and Dr E. Harold Laws; as well as her sister, Linda A Dunn. She is survived by her nephew, Scott Dunn and wife Wendy Dunn of Sandpoint; their children, Keegan, Casey, Garrett and Hailey; as well as her cousins, Jeff Zeigler and wife Evi Zeigler of Sagle, and Janet Scott of Petaluma, California.
Nancy was laid to rest on 17 July 2020 during a graveside celebration in Pinecrest Memorial Park.