NANCY CLARK REYNOLDS
MOTHER, PIONEER TELEVISION JOURNALIST, LOBBYIST
& ADVOCATE FOR WOMEN
JUNE 26, 1927 – MAY 23, 2022
A shimmering luminaria went out in Santa Fe on May 23, 2022, when Nancy Clark Reynolds, 94, passed away in her sleep from natural causes. If asked, Nancy would have modestly attributed her extraordinary life to "being one of the luckiest women in the world", but her loving family and a congregation of loyal colleagues, dear friends and acquaintances knew that it was her talent, work ethic, compassion, enthusiasm, optimism, and ever-present humor that endeared her to everyone she met. Fondly known to many as "Nomad Nancy", she was a relentless globetrotter drawn to the ancient history and cultures of New Mexico and Africa, archaeology, anthropology, and international folk art. Her travels to Africa were often focused on supporting the important work of the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Northern Kenya. She adored traveling with her many friends, especially her long-time life companion, Bob Kemble of Albuquerque.
At the start of her professional life, Nancy was a pioneer at a time when female broadcasters and correspondents were quite rare. She landed her first job out of college at a local television station on a bet, launching her notable career. From there, Nancy's emerging talent rapidly drew national attention, leading to an offer to produce and host a daytime television talk show in Boise, Idaho, the capital of her home state. Born in Pocatello as the daughter of future U. S. Senator David Worth Clark and Virgil Irwin Clark, Nancy was also a member of an extended political family that included U.S. Senator Frank Church and three former Governors. Nancy was subsequently recruited by Westinghouse/CBS KPIX TV in San Francisco, becoming one of the first woman television correspondents assigned to anchor an evening news broadcast for a major television network, where she ultimately received the "Golden Mike Award" for broadcasting excellence. Additionally, Nancy was also assigned many exclusive interviews of emerging politicians and newsmakers in California, from the first national President of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club to Ronald Reagan as a candidate for Governor of California. Her skillful interviews of the newly elected Governor at his ranch on horseback forged a life-long friendship between the two horse lovers. Nancy was later invited by Governor-elect Reagan to join his senior staff in Sacramento and served there during his two terms in office. Nancy's role in the Governor's office led to her exposure to an extraordinary array of important local and national personalities. Notably, Nancy was asked to arrange the State of California's official homecoming for the heroic U.S. Prisoners of War returning from Vietnam. Nancy deemed this role a cherished privilege because for many years she had proudly worn the bracelet of a returning POW she had never met by the name of John McCain.
After Governor Reagan became President of the United States in 1981, Nancy received an appointment to serve as United States Representative to the United Nation's Commission on the Status of Women where she teamed with U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Jean Kirkpatrick to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women in countries throughout the world through numerous leading organizations.
Yet another career transition would be in store for Nancy in Washington, D.C. An acquaintance from Idaho asked if she would consider assisting their company with legislative matters before the U.S. Congress. The Boise Cascade Corporation was seeking legislative representation in Washington and required a national affairs presence there. "You know Idaho and you know our company", she was told. Two years later, the President of the Bendix Corporation, another fellow Idahoan, sought Nancy out for lobbying assistance for the company. Nancy was charged with establishing the Bendix national affairs office in Washington and, within one year, was elected the first woman President of the Business Government Relations Council in the nation's capital.
Nancy's reputation as a successful lobbyist in Washington became even more elevated with the Bendix Corporation's attempted acquisition of defense contractor Martin Marietta Corporation. Nancy teamed with Ann Wexler, former Assistant to President Jimmy Carter and head of her own lobbying firm, to assist with the acquisition. Their relationship formed the basis of the unprecedented, bipartisan lobbying firm Wexler, Reynolds, Harrison & Schule, led by two women whose A-list client base grew robustly. The firm was acquired in 1990 by Hill and Knowlton, and Nancy retired a few years later to her beloved Santa Fe, where she continued to serve on the corporate boards of Sears-Roebuck, Allstate, and Viacom International.
Nancy viewed the most important role in her life as being a mother and is survived by her four proud sons and their spouses; Clark Wurzberger & Karen Ohl, Dean & Leslie Wurzberger, Kurt & Linda Wurzberger and Michael Reynolds & Rose Paljug. Nancy is also survived by four grandchildren; Whitney & Avery Wurzberger and Ethan & Colin Reynolds, in addition to her nephew Dr. Thomas Barber, Jr. and her nieces Becky Coffee, Christie Barber and Dottie Barber.
An extraordinarily dynamic, warm and generous spirit; Nancy will be sorely missed in the hearts of so many. She valued, admired and dearly loved her many friends and colleagues and requested no memorial service. In lieu of flowers, please consider any donations or gifts on behalf of Nancy Clark Reynolds to the International Folk Art Market (IFAM), a non-profit organization; 620 Cerillos Road, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505; (505) 992-7607; folkartmarket.org
The family of Nancy Reynolds has entrusted the care of their beloved one to Avista Cremation & Burial "where healing begins".
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