Nancy “Nan” Morgan Houston, of Kalamazoo, a writer, editor, and public relations manager for colleges and universities in Michigan, died Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, in Kalamazoo, after a brief illness. She was 83.
From 1971 to 1993, she worked in Michigan State University’s public information office, first handling the needs of the university’s Colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine, then moving to the news bureau, where she wrote speeches for the university president and provost, and for university publications. She helped publicize campus events including the Clinton-Bush-Perot presidential debate in October 1992 and the launch of the nationally-recognized 4-H Children’s Garden in 1993.
Prior to MSU, Ms. Houston held a similar post at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, where she publicized some of the earliest medical advances against sickle cell anemia. Earlier in her career, she worked for businesses and nonprofits in the Detroit area, and on political campaigns for U.S. Rep. Neil Stabler, who ran for governor in 1964, and former Governor G. Mennen “Soapy” Williams when he ran for U.S. Senate in 1966. One of her favorite memories was doing advance work for the Michigan tour of U.S. Sen. Robert F. Kennedy in the fall of 1967, prior to his campaign for President in 1968.
Born in Milwaukee, Wis., on March 12, 1928, she was a journalism graduate of Michigan State University, where she was a member of the Beta Beta Chapter of the Alpha Phi Sorority. She was divorced and is survived by her son, Jonathan of Brooklyn, N.Y.; daughter, Katherine (Katie) of Kalamazoo; grandchildren, Eleanor (Nora) and Andrew Carpenter; and sister, Jo Langfeldt of Boise, Idaho.
Services will be held Saturday, Dec. 31 at 2 p.m. at Florence Church of the Brethren-Mennonite, 17975 Centreville-Constantine Rd., in Constantine, with coffee and visitation following the service. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be sent to Kalamazoo Animal Rescue in honor of Nan’s beloved cat Binker. Arrangements by Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Memorial Chapel, 622 S. Burdick Street, Kalamazoo. Please visit www.langelands.com to sign, view or print Nan’s online guestbook or leave a condolence to the family.