R.I.P Nancy W. Kappes

I don’t know where to begin.

If you’ve been reading my blog for long then you know Nancy W. Kappes, paralegal. She first started emailing me years ago and her correspondence was the most bizarre, amazing, roller-coaster of profanity and vodka-drenched awesomeness I could ever imagine.  She was like Hunter S. Thompson but with a vagina, and I sometimes suspected that I was actually emailing myself from the future.  Other people suspected that I had made her up entirely because surely the few emails I shared here seemed too unbelievable to be real.  But they were.  And one day she came to Chicago to meet me and so many of the men and women who’d become fans of her writing on my blog.  And I was amazed.  We all were.  She was kind, caring, hysterical, and completely out of her mind but in the most fabulous, endearing and sort of frightening kind of way.  Over the years we sent each other hundreds of emails which I kept in a special “Nancy W. Kappes” folder and when I felt down I’d only have to look at the headings to smile.

Yesterday I found out that Nancy had died unexpectedly on Friday night.

I was shocked.  And then I was mad.  I sent her an angry email demanding that she tell me this was some sort of awful joke.  But it wasn’t.  I called her phone and it went to voicemail.  I saw notes of condolences on her daughters’ facebook pages.  Then I cried when I realized that I’d never again get an email from her with subject lines like “Holy mother fucking balls” or “fisting with a kitten mitten” or her old standby “Oh fer chrissake, DON’T TAKE NO SHIT FROM NOBODY; TELL ‘EM ALL TO FUCK OFF”.  Her last email came a week ago and was filled with typically golden tips on how to entertain your kids on vacation using only duct-tape and teddy grahams and admonishments to stop working so much and take a damn vacation.  She closed with these lines: “Go with God, my child.  And if He won’t drive, fucking make Victor. Love on all y’alls little heads ~ Nancy W. Kappes, paralegal“.

She was part demi-God, part hell-cat, part warning-sign, part adopted-mother and completely unique.  I will never meet another person like her.  I don’t know how she died but I do know how she lived.  She lived with a ferocity that frightened grown men.  She lived dangerously but fully and without regret.  She was unapologetically flawed, perpetually cheerful and found humor in even the darkest moments, and she gave me hope that I’ll be able to face the pain of rheumatoid arthritis in the same way she did…with a wry joke and a rebellious laugh instead of a whimper.  She was my friend and the world is a bit darker today without her in it.

If I was writing this about anyone else I’d stop right there, but I’m not writing about just anyone.  I’m writing about Nancy, who gloried in irreverence and pushing boundaries and I think that if she were to read this post she’d probably think it was very pretty but would be pissed that I ended it on such a horrifically respectable note, so instead I’m going to let Nancy end this in her own words.  A year ago she emailed me the obituary she wrote for herself and I laughed at it and sent her back my own, then tucked it into my Nancy file but I’m bringing it out today because, as always, no one could else could write this quite like Nancy…and no one should.

Dateline: Indianapolis, IN

Please remember in your prayers our sister, Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal, who was called Home to Jesus’ bosom recently when her fucking head blew up.  In life, she was a foul-mouthed, sarcastic, occasionally  funny mother, who loved her children unconditionally. She will be remembered for nothing.

Ms. Kappes died of natural causes while being beheaded by her cherished Firm who, apparently, had had just enough of her antics, thankyouverymuch.

She is survived by her sometimes [on their part] beloved grrlz, a grandson, and some ass-hat letters on her favorite website.  Everyone else in Ms. Kappes’ life has disowned her or disavowed knowing or being related to her. In fact, they are having a party in Chicago, to celebrate her demise. Donations in her name will be accepted by Pfizer, Merck, Eli Lilly and Watson.

Her daughters have planned a memorial service for the week in which her home will be open to [you know who you are] to participate in the last rites of a case of Gray Goose, 15 bottles of tequila, 2 cases of cheap bourbon, and unlimited access to the last 5 remaining barrels of the Judy Garland Trail Mix.

Ms. Kappes will be cremated and her ashes put in a Dixie cup. It is her final wish that she attend every party given and promises this time she will cause no trouble. Her parting words were, “Bite me.” “Pardon my dust.”

Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal


Goodbye, Nancy. Not everyone will understand this memorial but I hope it would have made you proud. I miss you already, old friend.

381 thoughts on “R.I.P Nancy W. Kappes

Read comments below or add one.

  1. oh man. That is dreadful, dreadful news. I am so sorry for all of us. Peace, Nancy

  2. i’m sorry for the loss of a brilliant person in this shitty world. anyone who can make us laugh at dark times is a serious blessing.

  3. And the world just lost a little light.
    I’m sorry for the loss of your friend, Jenny.
    I loved her too, and I’d never even met her.
    Is there anyway we could let her children know she was beloved by us too?

  4. RIP Nancy. . .

    We will ALL miss you more than you will ever know or would have expected. Tear it up in the afterlife.

  5. That woman was an absolute legend. I truly loved the posts you wrote with her letters. What a great loss for us all. I hope she left in the manner in which she wanted to and am sure that whichever heaven she is in now, she’ll be cracking them up with her own brand of slightly insane humor. What a great Character! Happy journey Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal

  6. We can only hope that she’s having the grandest of times. She was always true to her feelings and herself, and that is truly a brave person. Be well Jenny.

  7. Dear Jenny
    I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. Losing someone you love is one thing, but losing
    them and not knowing why/how is something that we don’t quite get over. (Been there, done that).
    If you can, take comfort in the fact that Nancy obviously cherished your friendship.
    I know you will miss her…

    Take care

  8. Having met Nancy W. Kappes, paralegal, I can say that a more honoring post could not have been written. She’s in heaven now, raising her SuperBigGulp cocktail glass to you, Jenny.

    RIP, Nancy W. Kappes, paralegal. You will be missed by many.

  9. I’m sad now.

    She was simply…surreal. My eyes got confused reading her words, even though they were – to a letter – funny. I wondered what had to be going on in the brain of the woman who sent those words in that crazy order out into the world.

    We’ll miss her.

  10. Goddammit anyway. Lord, that woman could swear. The world is a little less crotchety today, and that’s a shame.

    I’d say Rest In Peace, but I suspect she’s giving someone in the here-after a good earful. Bless her.

  11. I’m so sorry about Nancy W. Kappes, Jenny.

    Do you know how I can get my hands on that Judy Garland Trail Mix?

    I really am sorry, Jenny…

    Pills & Vodka (instead of X’s and O’s),
    Jenn B

  12. I’m so sorry to hear that you lost such a fantastic friend. Anyone who can make you smile on your darkest days is worth a million hugs and kisses and tributes that befit their awesomeness. You made me wish I had known her while she was rocking ur world. I think she would be proud of you little wolverine and your goodbye post.

  13. How awkward if Jesus is wearing the same hat when they meet. I like to think he’ll be the one to change into something else.

  14. Oh, Jenny, I am so sorry for your loss and for her girls. This is very sad. I am sure she’s looking down right now and loving your tribute to her. Take care.

  15. Oh shit, Jenny.

    This is awful.

    You are a magnet for some of the wildest things I’ve ever encountered. It’s our privilege that you choose to share them here.

    I am so glad you shared Nancy with us. She is amazing and she WILL be remembered.

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Love to you all.

    Rest peacefully, Nancy. And party on.

  16. {{HUGS}} for all of us, but especially for you and all that knew her. The only comfort is knowing that she has gone somewhere that immensely better than here and she’s waiting for us ?

  17. Aw man! That totally sucks! It’s just not fair when good people like Nancy are taken from us, but others, like Ann Coulter and that dude whose church protests military funerals are still alive. So not fair!!

  18. wow. she’s gone. i can’t believe we’ll be without her letters o’ hilarity forever now. The fact that you had that Obit gives me shivers. Thanks for sharing it with us. Please share more from the archives from time to time. As a person who has actually quoted Nancy IRL to friends, I chant “let the Judy Garland Trailmix flow free forever.” Thanks Nancy. I’ll always remember you.

  19. How sad! From the little I read of her on your blog, she was awesome. Reading her words often tested (& regularly busted) my bladder strength. And I will miss that.

    I am truly sorry for the loss of your friend Jenny. RIP Nancy.

  20. Jenny, I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your friend. My thoughts are with you and her family.

  21. That is some sucky Monday morning news. The first time I read her emails I laughed til I cried. A part of her will always be with me because I’ve adopted her phrase “one scary motherfuckin’ meemaw” to describe myself. I’m glad you got to meet her and know her and share her with the rest of us. Thank you for that.

  22. Meeting Nancy at BlogHer ’09 in Chicago was a singular experience. What I know about Nancy from our meeting is that she loved you for many reasons, understood your gifts as a writer, and had a grand alligiance to humor writing creatives. So, so sorry, Jenny. Peace to sweet Nancy.

  23. The stories about her always intrigued me. I really wanted to meet her one day. There goes my fucking bucket list.

    Rest in peace, Nancy. Save me a shot of whiskey and a pill of some sort in heaven.

  24. I suppose God decided he needed some of that special Judy Garland trail mix…the entire world is so fucked up these days, perhaps now that Nancy can share some of that with him (as well as her wry humor) life on earth will finally be filled with the colors it should be! I know you’ll miss her dearly, we all will, but also know that a spirit that spectacular doesn’t just disappear into the ether, oh no, the party goes on and on.

  25. Jenny, I filled up with tears reading that. She’d be honored. I’m so sorry for the loss of an incredible woman in your life.

  26. You only have to look at these comments and on the ones where you wrote about her to know that she will leave a legacy of laughter and strength behind. Thank you for sharing her with us. We love you, and we’re with you in this pain.

  27. I’m on a stupid public bus crying for someone I never met but accidentally love.
    There is no way anyone could forget her and I plan to drink tonight in her honor. I just wont be able to pull it off quite like she did.
    Aaand the guy beside m is now asleep on my shoulder and I’m hiccuping tears.

  28. I was just thinking of Nancy W. Kappes on Friday afternoon when I got a call at 4:15 that I needed to be a greeter at my rodeo party starting at 6:00. Sometimes when shit like that happens I think, what would Nancy do? I hope I made her proud by taking my own sweet time in getting there.

    She touched many lives, even those of us who act like we don’t need a role model, and her legend will live on. Thank you for sharing her with us.

  29. So sorry to hear it, Jenny. I always enjoyed when you’d share some of Nancy’s finely crafted bon mot (French for “good shit,” I’m told) with us. She seemed like she lived her life being the perfect antidote to boring, and I’m sad that the rest of us are going to need to find some way to fill that void.

    I guess all I can suggest at an awful time like this is to keep doing what you’ve already done: Enjoy the gems that she’s left for you in her emails. They’ll make things hurt a little bit less.

  30. Jenny, my mom died suddenly just a few weeks ago so of course I am sobbing and snotting all over my computer reading this but holy mother fucking balls, it sounds like Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal, lived large and had a wicked sense of humor to the very end. No one gets out of this thing alive, people, so do all the living you can while the getting’s good. I’ll be sure to raise hefty glass of voddie to toast this woman who I never had the good fortune to meet but who I’ve been touched by even in her death.


  31. I was thinking about Nancy just the other day, wondering how she was, what she’d been up to … and I was going to suggest that you start including updates in your “shit I was doing when I wasn’t here” Sunday postings. Damn. This is very sad.

  32. It’s not the point, I know, but reading this just made me feel a hell of a lot better, knowing someone like Nancy lived and found a way to get her voice heard through you.

    I feel like telling some people to fuck off today. I may not be able to use those words exactly, but I’m channeling her in the best way I can without getting my ass fired.

    You are and attract awesome, Jenny. I believe it’s why you’re here. Thanks for keeping on keeping on. Love to you and the kickass soul of Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal.

  33. I always appreciated the random slurred musings of Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal and today the air is just a little bit less blue without her distinct brand of communication whilst cursing in a manner that would make your hair curl. Shit-fuck-balls-bourbon-tits-hole-uppers-arse… man how did she do it? I try and curse a tribute and I’m already exhausted. Tonight, I will go home and raise a glass of wine (the good stuff mind you, gotta make sure its a fitting toast) and say a hearty hell-yeah to the heavens. I look forward to having a rogue angel up there keeping everything real. Thank you Jenny, for letting us know and my sympathies for having lost someone who made you laugh. There aren’t near enough people in this world who can make you laugh and blush at the same time! Cheers to Nancy!

  34. So sorry you lost your friend, Jenny. Looking at the picture of the two of you, I am amazed at the batshit craziness that came out of your two pretty little heads. In a good way, of course.

  35. Oh, Nancy.
    I bet Jesus is having one fine time with you, ole girl.

    Jenny, I’m sorry you lost such a treasure.

  36. everyone is right…there are very few people in this world who can offend AND be loving at the same time; nancy was certainly one of the anointed ones.

    i bet ya’ she left you some of her infamous stash o’ pills somewhere, though. make sure you shake up her kids before it’s too late…maybe they think their moms “drugstore” is open for business now that she’s no longer here to fend off all the seekers.

    because we all know that kids are leeches, right?

    seriously jenny, that’s a load of crap for you. i’m really sorry for those who knew nancy…you have lost such an interesting and kick ass soul.

    love and kindness:)

  37. Jenny – I’m sorry for the loss of your friend. Also that your week had to start in such a $^#*@y fashion. Hopefully, it gets better from here.



  38. You were both better for knowing each other – and the world thanks you for introducing her to us. RIP Nancy — be sure to leave a little vodka up there for the rest of us to join the party, too. 🙂

  39. This makes me want to dip into my own Judy Garland trail mix. A very dear friend of mine says, “Death doesn’t end relationships. It only changes them.” I hope those words can give you some comfort.

  40. She is – not was- a effin amazing Lady!
    I say IS because I believe she will be channeling her self thru THE BLOGGESS in many ways for many years to come… And laughing her freakin head off all the while!
    Seriously Jenny, she will never be far –
    so when you feel like someone’s looking over your shoulder when you can’t sleep… Yep it’ll be her just trying to get you riled up!

  41. What a terrible loss. Thanks for letting us know, Jenny, and for writing such a great post about her. I’m sure she doesn’t want me blubbering over her but, fuck, that woman had chutzpah.

  42. The first time I read one of your posts where you put up one of her emails, I thought surely you had made this character up. I am so sorry for your loss.

  43. I know you are already working on a book right now Jenny, but I was thinking, seems like Nancy had a pretty awesome/hard/wonderful life, and if there was anyone who could write a book about her, it would be you.

  44. Thank you so much for introducing us to her. I hope her daughters know how many strangers she touched. Although I think I would’ve been scared to hang out with her, I kinda hoped that one day I’d get the chance.

    Keep on truckin, Nancy W. Kappes.

  45. I am sincerely sadden by the fact I’ll never get to meet her now. I can only imagine how bad her friends and family are feeling. I am sorry Jenny. I wish I had something to make you feel better, or something else to offer besides these inadequate little words.

  46. Ain’t that just like Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal? Always has to have the last word.

    I take comfort in the fact that wherever she is now, she’s drunk off her ass and double-fisting handfuls of Judy Garland trail mix in a bathroom. Hell, I wish I was with her.

  47. She was crazy amazing. Dying sucks balls, but if God exists he is laughing his ass off right now – because she’s one entertaining character. (You know damn well she’s not in hell: A) She wouldn’t stand for that shit. B) Devil’s probably scared shitless of her.)

    I’m sorry for you sadness, Jenny. News of a friend’s passing is high on the list of shit sandwiches. xoxo

  48. Oh, Jenny. I’m so sorry for your loss. 🙁

    “She was unapologetically flawed… ”
    Y’know, I think I’d like to strive to be like Nancy in that respect. Thanks, Nancy.


  49. It was the most fantastic thing, when you brought her to Chicago, and she was real! She really was. What an amazing connection you had. I’m so sorry to hear this news.

  50. I’m so sorry, Jenny… Remember, everybody inside the internet is here with you. We’ll all have a drink in her honour and toast with something like “Yea Nancy, when I see you in the next life I WILL bite you. Take that! Oh and fucking love and stuff and WOLVERINES!”

  51. as awful as this news is — and sister mercy it’s awful — i just can’t imagine nancy w. kappas is done. if there’s anyone in this world who’d specify upon meeting jesus where she wanted to be, it’s nancy — haunting your house.

  52. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of Nancy W. Knappes, paralegal.
    I always looked forward to reading your correspondence with her, and it because of her that I started referring to my own stash of pills as the “Judy Garland Trail Mix.”

    Tonight I’ll have some vodka & vicodin in her memory.

  53. Life will never be the same now that Nancy W. Kappes, paralegal will no longer roam the earth giving out her vodka-laced, profanity speeches to the douches who need it. RIP Nancy W. Kappes, paralegal. The world just got a little less interesting.

  54. Sorry to hear of your loss.

    Reading this has made me realise, that it’s no longer the ones whom you live with or closest to who we grow the most attached to. There are loads of people across the world whom we interact with on an almost daily basis, whether it be reading their tweets, laughing at their facebook statuses or visiting their blogs. We form such a close bond with them and in many ways, their loss is probably harder to bear than others….

  55. No fucking way. I’m so sorry Jenny. I am particularly thankful to Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal, for coining the phrase “Judy Garland Trail Mix,” which has become part of my household lexicon. Godspeed, Nancy.

  56. I couldn’t say anything here that would do more justice to her than you already have Jenny, especially without saying fuck a lot and stuff about Jesus, though maybe not together. Hard to say.

    RIP Nancy. You made a lot of people happy.

  57. Godspeed, Miz Kappes.

    Jenny, I’m so sorry for your loss. She got it wrong when she wrote that she would be remembered for nothing in her obituary, thanks in large part to her friendship with you and your dedication to las locas everywhere.

  58. I’m so sorry Jenny. Fuckity fucking fuck. Tonight I will drink to her. Because I’ve laughed at her comments for years.

  59. The world is a sadder, less-funny place without Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal. Each generation produces a few chosen ones. Nancy was one of her generation’s finest. Carry the torch, Jenny.

  60. My favorite Kerouac quote is:
    “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!”

    That was Nancy. It saddens me to a point where I can’t write. I just will mourn. The world is truly darker without her fabulous yellow roman candles exploding across the stars….

  61. Oh, sweetie. That’s just awful. I’m sorry for your loss.

    I hope she knows, somehow, how many of us will miss her words.

  62. To quote my 12 year old son’s current favorite phrase, “That just sucks balls.”

  63. I just spent 10 minutes writing the most heartfelt and beautiful comment about how wonderful and amazing Nancy is and how she was part of one of the best nights of my life and the my phone fucking shut off when I went to publish it. SOOOO, I’m taking it as a sign that Nancy doesn’t want us to be sad and/or really hated my comment so I’m just going to get drunk instead. *For Nancy.*

    I’m so sorry Jenny. Thank you for sharing her awesomeness with us. And thank you Nancy for making me feel happy and for saying you’d fuck me. It was a truly magical moment.

  64. Oh how horrible. Love goes out to you and to all who she touched in her lifetime. We will all raise a glass to Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal tonight.

  65. sending all sorts of love and comfort to you and to Nancy’s family and friends. hopefully she’s up on a cloud, kicking back and laughing at the rest of us fools.

  66. Jenny, I am so truly sorry to read about this. My heart hurts for you so badly right now. I think she would be proud of you – what kindred spirits you were! You’re in my thoughts and prayers.

  67. I just don’t know what to say. Truly. Nancy was a rare person. Thank you for sharing her with us over the last couple of years. She will be missed. Hugs to you, sweetie.

  68. I read this as I was getting ready for work. I immediately went to the liquor fridge, drank a shot of vodka an poured out one for the homies in her honor. Of course, my dog licked it off the floor. So now I’m buzzed and ky dog is drunk on a Monday morning… just the way Nancy would have liked it, I’m sure.

  69. oh my god, jenny, i am so sorry for you and everyone who knew her. i was almost crying reading this, but decided that sitting at work wasnt the best place for that. later.

  70. Nancy, her letters, and her trail mixing ways will be sorely missed. I am so sorry for your loss Jenny and I think she would love the tribute you wrote here today.

  71. Oomph. This hurt to read. Much love to her children and her loved ones. You were damned lucky to have such a great friend Jenny. RIP Nancy and give ’em hell where ever you are.

  72. It sounds like you’re remembering and honoring her exactly the way she would want to be remembered. I think readers everywhere will be pouring out toasts to her tonight in celebration of her glorious life and the joy she brought many people.
    She was wrong about one thing, though: She won’t be “remembered for nothing.” Through this website and her own wit and insanity, she’s touched and entertained so many people. Who needs a memorial when words live on?
    P.S. I’m sure she has a folder somewhere on her computer called “Jenny the Bloggess,” and that when she was feeling sad, she would open it, look at the titles, and smile.

  73. I’m so sorry, Jenny – I know how much she meant to you… and to us because of you. The world could use a lot more caring, irreverent people in it. And now, there’s one fewer.

  74. Why is it always the good ones who leave our lives far to early?!? I’ll be downing a bottle of Grey Goose tonight in memory of her. Love ya, chica *hugs*

  75. *hugs* I’m so sorry for your loss.

    That being said: No cheap bourbon. It’s already sad enough and you don’t wanna make it worse by the vomit that cheap bourbon (cheap anykindofliquor really) will bring. And NObody wants to clean up cheap bourbon vomit in a black dress.

  76. awwwwwwwwww jenny, i am so sorry. Man this is has been a rough couple months for you dude. I remember reading her letters to you and she said “Jesus Christ in a row boat! Because well Jesus Christ wouldnt really need one would he?” Man dude i LAUGHED MY FUCKING ASS OFF about that for literally 10 minutes. I even wanted to make a shirt. I find humor in blasphemous things i guess. I enjoyed reading about ur friendship and correspondence. I am truly sorry for the loss of your friend. 🙁 *hug*

  77. you know, I was just wondering about her the other day. She was certainly something, and she brought joy and laughter to so many people. You can’t ask for a greater legacy than that.

  78. I’m a fairly new reader and had never experienced Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal, until today. I’m very sad that I didn’t get to hear about her in real time via your blog, but would like to thank both you and Nancy for the few posts that you linked to so that I was able to read some of her writing. That shit blew my mind.

  79. I was thinking about her this weekend and wondering when I might hear from her again through you. Now I’m really sad and don’t want to finish cleaning my house. I’m going to have some vodka for lunch in her honor, and I think I’m going to go cry for a little while.

  80. Bloody hell, Jenny. I’m sorry. Hugs from Canada. (Yes, I have the authority to legally bind the entire country to all hug-related contracts.)

  81. Well, isn’t that just like Jesus. Fame, a book deal and immortality just weren’t enough. Now he’s gotta have the cool people to party with. Good news for Nancy though- Patrick Swayze. My hero- my great grandmother who died when I was 21 said to me from her hospital bed “Why are you crying? You should have prepared for this” not really helpful but I thought: Man, I want to be a tough crazy old bat when I grow up even more now. I guess what I am saying is I do understand your memorial and your way of thinking is what keeps me entertained and this awful moment is one more shining example of how laughter really is the best medicine. and vodka.

  82. You made Nancy proud for sure. This is a fantastic tribute to your friend.

    Here’s to Nancy, we will miss you.

  83. Well I’m quite devastated and I don’t know what to say. Reading about Nancy on your blog got me through some rough times, so I can only imagine how you feel, having had a true relationship with her and all.


  84. So very sad. Recently I wondered when you’d post another one of her emails. She was memorable and will continue to be. My deepest, deepest sympathies to you, Jenny, and to Nancy’s family as well.

  85. I’m sad to hear that she is gone. Who else could curse and love with such elegance, in such equally over-the-top measure? Rest in Peace, Nancy! Thanks for sharing this, Bloggess.

  86. RIP Nancy. You’ll never be forgotten. You lived a remarkable, unapologetic, rollercoaster ride of a life and it seemed like you made it worth every second.

    I’m sure you’ll continue living it up…only higher up.

  87. I really really want to get a W.T.F.W.N.P.K.,P.D.? tattoo. Because I think What The Fuck Would Nancy P. Kappes, Paralegal Do? should be my guiding principal in life.

    I’m glad so many people got to know how wonderful she is through your blog, Jenny. Thank you.

  88. One more example of the many regarding how unique this internet thing is, and the amazing relationships forged there. Amazing. So sorry to you, and of course, to Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal. xo

  89. How terrible for us all. So sorry Jenny, thanks for sharing (all that you share).

  90. Just last week I was thinking we were due for a Nancy W. Kappes update. This is not what I was thinking about though. R.I.P. Nancy. Hope you are running naked through heaven given ’em whatfor.

  91. I’m sorry about the loss of your friend. I’m sure she is somewhere laughing her ass off and appreciating the fact that you published the eulogy she wrote.

  92. Sorry for your loss Jenny. Having read the email and anecdotes you have posted of her, she would have loved this posting. RIP Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal

  93. Oh, that is too sad. : (
    Take care of your heart. My mom just found out (after having RA for ever) that they have a higher than 50% risk of heart problems compared to other people. (Just in case they didn’t tell you yet, or Nancy.)
    Keep the letters – you will be glad you did!

  94. Not to speak ill of the dead, but she is wrong– she won’t be remembered for nothing. She’ll be remembered for being the ultimate badass who took no shit from anyone, wrote up hilarious statements to that effect, entertained thousands of people, and inspired a genius. Also, she had children and all that other less important stuff.

    She will be missed!

  95. I am so sorry to hear this. I just know that she is in heaven laughing her ass off at the fact that she was wrong. She was not remembered for nothing; she was remembered for being an amazing woman who had the balls to be herself, even when others turned their noses at the fact that this woman was ‘different’. Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal will be remembered by the thousands who read this blog and all the people she has touched (I just know she made that an innuendo). I may not have met her, but those that have are some of luckiest people in the world. Jenny, don’t cry over this, you know she would be pissed. Go get drunk, take some random assortment of pills (but please god make sure you wont die by combining them), and raise hell. It’s the least any of us can do.

  96. I’m so sorry to hear about Nancy’s demise. We can only hope that she went out with a bang and took down some bad motherf*ckers with her when she went. Cuz we all know that’s how she rolled.

    Hugs to you, Jenny.

  97. Hello. I’m a very new reader of your blog. I found you through Hyperbole and a half.
    I’ve been reading back through all your posts (still some way to go!) but I strayed from my methodical-backwards-chronological-order-method-thing when I stumbled upon the first Nancy W Kappes post and read all I could of her.
    I’m gutted.
    I knew of her for 3 days and I’m just fucking gutted.
    Sorry for you, Jenny. Though I’m a TOTAL stranger!
    Sorry for Nancy W Kappes but if it helps, just before you died, you had a new wishes-she-was-your daughter.


  98. Best. Eulogy. Ever.

    You are an amazing writer and an inspirational woman. Thank you for sharing Nancy with all of us. Hopefully her family will know that her humor and compassion will be remembered by your readers.

  99. Oh my God, Jenny! So sorry to read this. I’ll never forget the dinner I had with you and Nancy- one of the funniest, most bizarre, most amazing dinners of my entire life. I’m going to fill up a water bottle with vodka in her honor.


  100. Oh Jenny. Nancy was your perfect counterpart. I’ll miss her letters and your responses. My sincerest condolences to you, and especially to her family.

  101. Our world has lost another great one. What is unique about Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal is she will be remembered. Every time someone tells me “Bite Me” I’ll think of NWK, Paralegal 😉 RIP NWK, P.

  102. RIP Nancy W. Kreppes indeed. The world is a better place for knowing her. Thanks Jenny for the best. eulogy. ever. No one could have done it better.

  103. I was reading the post about Nancy over at Her Bad Mother’s blog and her comment about printing out all the emails gave me the idea: Wouldn’t it be awesome if you two put her emails together into a book and got it published? All the proceeds could go to her children or to a charity she would have liked.

  104. My god what a tragedy. I hate reading this. I hope Nancy knows how loved she was by the rest of us fucking crazies. Jenny I am devastated at your loss & hope that in her honor you might choose to give light to more of her brilliant insanity in the future. I know we could all use the spark of light she provided, particularly in a time like this. Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal, you beautiful, fabulous, amazing nutjob…we miss you, goddammit. Give em hell, lady.

  105. Well on top of my alraedy shitty start to the day, this put it over the brink, and now I’m sitting here sobbing for your loss of somebody that I barely knew because my best friend’s grandma died yesterday and it’s all just so damned sad that these wonderful people are dying. Hugs to you, and to her family.

  106. I’m so very sorry. 🙁 I read this in Starbucks when I was supposed to be writing and correcting some of my poetry instead of on Twitter reading about. I was bawling. I came into reading your posts sometime last year and don’t remember anything about her. (I did go back and read some of the entries, though, to catch up.)

    In 12 days, it will be 4 years since my favorite teacher, Elaine, passed away. Reading this made me miss her even more. We had a teacher-student pact that we didn’t even have to speak on – one that no one else had. She taught me so much — including having HOPE. I had her for one semester my junior year and that was it. She was forced into early retirement because her Ovarian Cancer came back. We emailed a few times back and fourth until 10/16/06 I came home and read an email that she passed away.

    Your entry just brings back so many buried feelings…Big hugs and love.

  107. I am very sorry for your loss, Jenny.

    I had to smile at the email you sent her though. Once, a few months after my first husband died, I went to his grave to yell at him for not doing his job – looking out for me.

    “It’s easy enough for you now,” I told him. “Sitting on a cloud, all comfy-cozy, but I still have to slog around down here and you aren’t using any of your new-found angel magic to help.”

    The very next day, my employer offered me a full-paid leave of absence for the remainder of the school year. So, the lesson here is that yelling at dead people yields unexpected results … or I am just a wee bit crazy and disrespectful.

  108. Sad sad sad.
    How awesome that you were able to share her here on your blog with the rest of the world. Much appreciated.

  109. The arrangements for Nancy have been made. The viewing will be this Thursday from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at Harry Moore Funeral Home at 8151 Allisonville Rd., near Castleton.

    The funeral will be Friday at 10:30 AM, a St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church, which is at 10644 Haverstick Road in Carmel. The church is east of Keystone and 106th St., just a couple of blocks east of a 4 way stop on 106th St. It is a huge, if memory serves, white stone structure that you can’t miss if you go east on 106th St. from Keystone Ave.

  110. Well, I thought today sucked, but now it TEH sucks so bad.

    R.I.P. oh great one of the pharmaceuticals… I still can’t get any f’ing xanax, but I will try… in your memory, which I’ll forget as soon as I get some Xanax… but I’m sure you’ll understand and approve.

  111. The world is a little less bright without Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal. This is a true story: On Friday I randomly thought of Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal and was extolling her virtues to a friend as an example of how to *really* sift through what’s important in life and to fuck ’em if they can’t take a joke. And how I always looked forward to the next letter from Nancy.

    Cheers to Nancy, sympathy to her family and friends, and I for one will drink a toast to her spirit tonight.

  112. I’m a relatively new reader, so I didn’t know much about Nancy W. Kappes, paralegal. But just the little bit you wrote about her made it clear she was crazy fun. I’m so sorry for the loss of your friend.

  113. Oh, I’m so sorry. I wish I had words of wisdom, or just something to say to make you laugh. My heart aches for your loss…

  114. God bless her and the joy, amusement, and insane letters/times/everything she brought to the world.

  115. Thank you so much for sharing her insane genius with us through the years. The posts featuring her were always among my favorites.

  116. R.I.P. Nancy W. Kappes. Never a sycophant were you ever and so your name shall not rest with the like of angles clamoring to be by your side. Roll on high. Shine with the stars. Blessed.

  117. So sorry, Jens. Get mad, have a cry or three then dust yourself off and drink some of the good stuff. Cheers, Nancy!


  118. I’m knocked up, but I don’t fucking care, I’m dragging all my other children out with me, barefoot, in the rain, to get a case of vodka and finish it off in Nancy’s honor. This shit sucks. LONG LIVE NANCY W. KAPPES, Paralegal! May your dust give me a sneeze-gasm!

  119. Thanks so much for introducing her to us. Her insanity was delightful to me.
    I hope God is happy now.

  120. How shocking. I thought Nancy would be sharing her wisdom with us for the ages. You bid her farewell in the exact way she would have wanted, I think.

  121. To the World: I had the pleasure of knowing Nanci and being her friend for many years. You should know that she was everything you thought she was but much much more. She combined irreverance with absolute kindness. She knew every word to every rock and roll song, read every book ever written (I think), had a photo-graphic memory and total recall (and an IQ- off the charts), but most of all she was a loyal friend, a caring mother, and a proud grandma. Nanci largely lived in the moment. Making someone smile was more important to her than collecting material stuff. I loaned her $20 one day for lunch, and she gave it to a homeless guy. When I asked why she gave my money away, Nanci said he needed it more than we did. One time we walked into a CVS Drug Store, and Nanci addressed the clerk by her first name. Initially, I thought Nanci was just reading the girl’s name off her name tag; then, Nanci asked the girl about her daughter (by name), whether the girl had fixed her broken down car, and how her classes at school were going. When we left, she said “Stephen, it is important to take the time to know something about someone other than their name.” I have read the Bible, rantings of philosophers, religious books (part of a mis-spent liberal arts education), but Nanci showed me more about human quality and compassion than anyone I ever met. Nanci did it the way we all wish we could do. Yes, she was a free spirit; but her moral compass was straight north (although Nanci would like to tell you it was facing E-SE). Most days when I felt low, I would call Nanci and she always had the magic words and smile to make me feel right. Today, I am sorry to say there is no one to call. We will miss you Nanci Elizabeth Whitford Kappes, and love you always. Stephen (Nanci’s friend and Boss).

  122. Sorry for your loss.
    I’m dealing with my own grief right now, as my awesome mother in law passed away today.

    I’m not trying to make myself important here.
    It’s just good to know I’m not alone in my sadness and tears.

    Tear up the sadness, and don’t put it in a box to accidently give to the lion later on.
    People that think ‘I’ve lost it’ should read Toon Tellegen.

    Either way, in my language we have a saying that goes: gedeelde smart is halve smart.
    Shared sorrow is half the sorrow.

    I’m glad we have each other and the net to share.
    Still, I’m really really sorry for your loss.
    I hope one day you find another side kick like her.

  123. *dips a scoop of Judy Garland Trail mix into a Dixie cup as a tear rolls down her cheek* Dammit, Balls, Fuck.

  124. What a shitty way to start an already shitty Monday. 🙁

    Your heartfelt tribute is at least a bright spot, as is the fact that us wacked out paralegals on the brink Nancy left behind now have a guardian angel watching over us.

  125. Nanci will be missed and I wish I had known her, she sounds like an awesome person, our condolences and thoughts go out her family and friends. Always enjoyed her missives Jen posted here.

  126. I’m sorry, Jenny. She sounds like somebody I would have loved to have known.

    ps. Of course she’d be proud. You’re brilliant.

  127. “I don’t know how she died but I do know how she lived. She lived with a ferocity that frightened grown men. She lived dangerously but fully and without regret. She was unapologetically flawed, perpetually cheerful and found humor in even the darkest moments…”

    I wish, no, I hope I will have the courage to go on and live as she did. With a ferocity. RIP Nancy.

    Jenny, I’m very sorry for your loss. Should you be able to speak with Nancy’s loved ones, please send them my most sincere condolences. You are right: the world is darker today. But you know her well enough to know that she is continuing the party somewhere else. Lucky them. {{{hugs}}}

    p.s. Dear Stephen, thank you for the memories of Nancy. I am very sorry for your loss of a dear dear friend.

  128. very sorry for the physical loss, her spirit will never far away.

    yes, I understand

  129. I am heartsick over Nancy’s passing. Just this weekend, my daughter & I were talking about going to Indy to meet her. (We live an hour & half north.) Our hearts are saddened, but I know Nancy will be entertaining the spirits in the ghost after-life. I hope she visits me.
    Thank you Jenny for sharing us the brilliance & wonderment of an truly amazing woman, Nancy W. Kappes.

  130. Wow. Nancy will truly be missed.

    She’s also setting a new standard in Heaven. Yes, of course, she got in. Who in the world was more honest and authentic than Nancy? It was a majority vote, actually. Everyone was so sick of harp music all the time that they overruled St. Peter. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if she takes over his job, and by the time we all get there, Heaven totally rocks.

  131. Jenny, I’m so sorry to hear this- Nancy was completely mind-boggling in her awesomeness and I can’t imagine the hole she has left in everyone who knew her.

    But I bet Jesus just read your post and said, “Oh, SHIT- Nancy’s coming!”

  132. When you live hard, dying is easy. When you live easy, dying is hard.

    Nancy lived hard and well. I imagine she moved into whatever is next with ease and then started making the best of whats there.

  133. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend. She seems like an amazing person! My thoughts and prayers are with you and her family.

  134. Aw now that just fucked up my entire day!

    RIP Nancy. And to her family – Oh how I wish I had something meaningful to say. But I’m always at a loss for eloquent words in times of grief. Usually because I’m drunk.

    I miss her and I didn’t even know her.

  135. That blows!! I’m sorry Jen 🙁

    You should go to her funeral and cause a scene. She would want it that way.

  136. I know of no worse feeling than the surprise loss of a dear friend. I’m sure they’re out there, but they’ve yet to shit on my doorstep.
    I am positive Nancy is cheering you on from the other side.

  137. This is just really sucky news. I am so sorry Jenny. I know that she was a kindred spirit to you. We will miss her awesome, hilariously funny words, but that holds no candle to what you will miss. Thoughts are with you today, but the vodka should be with us all tonight.

  138. I cried when I read the subject line. I’ve been reading your blog for a couple of years and have enjoyed Nancy’s emails to you that you posted. She was a special, special woman and she will be missed.

  139. Well that makes me really hope there is an afterlife – that wacky and wonderful woman will give it just the jolt of crazy that it needs.

    RIP Nancy – the world will definitely feel your absence.

  140. I am so sad to hear this. I can’t believe it. I am going to shave my dog’s back and tattoo “badass motherfucker” on it in effigy of Nancy.

  141. WTF??? Who told her she could do that? I’m so sorry, this definitely sucks ass.

  142. The world lost on that bet. Some schmuck in a stuffy suit with 2.5 kids, trophy wife, fat bank, and a halfway lived life got passed over by the reaper.

    I needed this in an odd sort of way. I know a few others who do too.

    I got misty. Don’t tell.

    Thank you for putting her voice out there.

  143. Wow…a friend just sent this to me. I wish I had known of this awesome woman before she passed. Clearly she and The ABIB were sisters not even so far under the skin.

  144. I’m so sorry to hear that. I remember thinking the other day that it had been a while since you posted a Nancy W Kappes email. It’s a shame hear she’s gone. But we will all remember her – with fondness.

  145. she’s sounds like an amazing person. sorry for your loss and the loss of the internet as a whole. i have to say that i would like that exact obituary or something similar when i go.

    hugs to you <3

  146. So sorry Jenny…but kick-ass job on your tribute to her. I’m sure you made her smile from the other side.

  147. aww, crap. Lots of people go through this world without a mark, she burned the shithouse down. Salud.

  148. Jenny, I’m so sorry. I have an awesome friend like that. And it would totally suck to lose her. Sad for you.

  149. Thank you. Thank you to everyone who mourned and celebrated Nancy this week. Last night I felt crushingly alone. Today I feel the weight of hundreds of people around me, remembering and paying tribute to a woman who was in many ways my mentor. Thank you, everyone. And thank you, Stephen, for sharing your stories with us and to everyone else who shared their memories. Tonight I mourn my friend. Tomorrow my niece will be born. If there’s such a thing as reincarnation my sister is in for one hell of an adventure.

    We’ll miss you, Nancy. Pouring out a bottle of Grey Goose for you tonight. You’ll never be forgotten.

  150. Well, fist me with a kitten mitten. RIP, Nancy W. Kappes Paralegal. Just kidding. Don’t rest. Rattle some chains, drain some minibars, and have a helluva good time in the afterlife. Cheers, lady.

  151. Oh, this sucks harder than a $5 crack whore. I’m so sorry. The world needs more inappropriate women, not less.

    Maybe she’ll come haunt you. Do you think the Indians whose graves are under your house will welcome her in their circle? Do you think she’d give them a choice?

    Her funeral is about 25 minutes from my house. I didn’t realize she was from this area.

  152. I can’t believe Nancy is gone. I’ll miss the stories and completely whacked out emails. RIP Nancy.

  153. I vote that we send a bucket of trail mix and a taxidermied raccoon to the vatican so that Nancy W. Knappes, Paralegal can become Saint Nancy W. Knappes, Paralegal, Patron Saint of Blashphemers. And I’m sending out good vibes to you Jenny, for the loss of your friend.

  154. I’ve been reading your blog for a long time, and while the fact that I’ve never been compelled to leave a comment until now is not meant to reflect badly upon your ability to bring out the funny rebuttalist in me, Nancy was an absolute poet. A POET. I love her and I love you for bringing her unabashedly raw and crazy beautiful messages from within the mind of, what I can only assume, was one of the single most hilarious ladies I will never have the pleasure (nor possibly would I have had the balls) to meet. I’m glad that you had both. I’ve never heard her speak, but she now voices my inner monologue.

  155. No. No!!! I was so looking forward to meeting that crazy bitch at a conference some day, I can’t believe she’s gone. I’m so sorry, Jenny.

    Do not take any shit in the afterlife, Nancy, you wouldn’t have taken any here. FUCK ‘EM.

  156. God bless you and welcome you home, Nancy W. Kappes, paralegal. God knows He needs some help in the ass-kicking department.

  157. I just toasted Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal, with tequila, as I have no Grey Goose.

    Jenny – my heart goes out to you, and to my fellow The Bloggess Fans, as we have all lost a tremendous talent. Your posts of correspondence from Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal, still make me spew snot across my keyboard in laughter. I hope you can work with her daughters on compiling more of the Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal archives, perhaps in book format – I would be the first in line for a copy, wearing my “The Bloggess” Roller Wig.

  158. Jesus H. Christ. That blows. Nancy’s emails were the funniest damn things I have ever read. I wish I could have met her. Thank you, Jenny, for sharing that crazy, badass, whipsmart and brilliant soul with us. Awesome memorial.

    Steven – Wonderful comments. My condolences on the loss of your friend and colleague. I would work for free if I could work with someone like her.

    Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal – I will think of you free from pain, free from doing any boring filing or proofreading ever again, free of this world’s fuckery, partying with Judy Garland, singing rock and roll songs, drinking everyone under the table, swearing, laughing and feeding goats. You sound like the world’s most kick-ass Grandma. You are a hero to so many of The Bloggessians. Hey, if you happen to meet my husband in a bar up there somewhere, I’m sure the two of you will have a blast. He had a wicked sense of humor and was a sweet, handsome, moody bastard. I know you will soon have more friends and fans in heaven than you do here on Earth. You made a difference in the lives of everyone who knew you or read your emails…including store clerks, your neighborhood pharmacists, homeless people, your loved ones, stray animals, depressed screw-ups and vodka distributors. We will never forget you, lady. Thanks and Godspeed.

  159. She’s eating Judy Garland Trail Mix in the sky and relishing in the fact that she started a phrase that will live on. That’s what I always call my fibro painkillers and probably always will.

  160. So sorry for your loss, Jenny. I haven’t followed your blog long enough to have come to know Nancy, but she sounds like a hoot. She reminds me a lot of Molly Ivins. Maybe they’re cracking each other up in Heaven. Namaste.

  161. I’m very sorry for your loss. I hadn’t heard of Nancy before today, but I went back and read the “Letters from Nancy” posts; she sounds like an amazing person.

  162. Aw Jenny, I’m sorry for your loss, really truly. I don’t know what to say to make you feel any better other than your life is richer for having known her and now she is at peace somewhere on another plane, taking her Judy Garland trail mix and drinking Gray Goose without the hangover the next day. RIP Nancy W. Kappes and hugs to you.

  163. RIP, Nancy. And condolences, Jenny. It was a letter from Nancy that first got me reading your blog. Souls like hers don’t leave us without leaving a hole.

  164. Wow. I’m just seeing this. I’m so sorry, hon. She’s going to be dearly missed. She’s probably busting open bathroom doors in Heaven saying “Out of mah way, bitches!” right about now! Surely she’s in heave, because Hell was too scared to keep her!


  165. Well, as Nancy would say, “Fuck me running.”

    I never knew her either, but I’ll still miss her. Hugs to you Jenny.

  166. best opening line of an obit ever “Please remember in your prayers our sister, Nancy W. Kappes, Paralegal, who was called Home to Jesus’ bosom recently when her fucking head blew up.”

    wish nancy and i could have shared a box of franzia together.

  167. I’m sorry for your loss, it sounds like she most likely went out kicking and screaming. I read through her letters and LMAO. She may be gone, she WILL be missed, but will NEVER be forgotten!

  168. “She was part demi-God, part hell-cat, part warning-sign, part adopted-mother and completely unique.” Just like her beautiful crazy daughters.
    She bummed a smoke to me a few years ago. Instead of giving me the mom lecture, I remember her infamous words, “smoke up boy.”
    She was a pleasure to meet in life. She reminded me of my mom and I liked that.

  169. Damn you Jenny and Nancy. I’m crying. Safe travels, Nancy W. Kappas. I’m sorry, Jenny. And isn’t it amazing that so many of us knew her crazy and her heart through you.

  170. First I was sad when I read the entry about Nancy’s passing on. Then (because I was reading in the “Letters From Nancy” file) the next entry title was “Nancy W. Kappes Is Alive”, and so I thought it was all some misunderstanding until I realized it was just a sad piece of irony – and then I was sad again. I’m sorry for the loss that so many people have suffered as a result of her passing, but count yourself lucky Jenny because you were fortunate enough to have her in your life, even if it wasn’t long enough. I think it was an absolutely brilliant idea to have written your own obits and I thank you for sharing her and her words with us. *HUGS*

  171. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe it. I’m so sorry for your loss. Nancy was an amazingly funny woman. Today, the blogosphere is a bit darker, and Heaven is a little bit brighter.

  172. The crazy glass is now only half full…when my cup used to runneth over…
    RIP Ms. Nancy

  173. I think she would be truly touched by your tribute, not that she would have ever admitted it. Sorry for the loss of your friend. Laurie

  174. um, no. it’s Laurie from hibernationnow.wordpress.com.( who the heck is Hello-Goodbye-Offsite Redirect Upgrade, it sure ain’t me. I think Nancy is playing a little trick on us.

  175. OMG, Jenski!!!! Nancy W. Kappas actually called me once, to comment on something I said on your blog. We had a delightful if ‘late-night-at-a-sleazy-dive-bar’ conversation. It just sucks the furry moose wand that she is gone. I have no doubt she’ll rest with wild abandon.


  176. Wow…….I’m so sorry, I’m sorry for her kids……I loved her!!! She was such a riot!
    She will be missed!

  177. I enjoyed her letters in your blog. Always made me laugh! I like the photo of her and you too! The world needs more people like her that make you laugh when you thought you were just about to cry. Sorry to see her pass but I’m pretty sure she’s probably raising hell in Heaven!

  178. Dear Great Bloggess:
    You have written the obituary that sums it up for all of us who knew her and loved her. My heart aches for her girls, but they are beating the hell out of this dead horse with a candor and verve only their Mom could have taught them.

    I have known Nancy since I was 5; she dated my Uncle Mike who died in 2005. It occurs to me that they haven’t left the Great Bar of Eternity since she got there on Friday night~and Nancy FINALLY got to introduce Judy to the Trail Mix named in her honour! It also occurs to me that Keith Moon hasn’t had this much fun in a couple of decades!

    Thank You for your kind, thoughtful and appropriately inappropriate tribute! Nancy was so excited about you including her rants in your pages, and often feared she didn’t write well enough for your published excerpts! Silly girl. The Bloggess was a wonderful source of sheer pleasure and amusement for her, and I enjoyed wine sloshed conversations on many a Friday night over the phone talking about her trip to meet you, the emails, the laughter. (tho I never quite made out the “make Victor drive” thing!)

    I’m glad I found your blog today. Best, Kate

  179. Dear Bloggess,

    I am a huge fan of yours, a bigger fan of the word fuck and an even bigger fan of the idea that a woman like Nancy even existed. I am new to her rants but her obit was a slice of pure genius in a world of dumb ass droll. I am thinking of her family and her friends and you and your lovely tribute. Spot on. You were lucky to know her through more than just her hilarious writing. So sorry for your loss but what a gain for the Jesus jungle upstairs.

    All My Best,


  180. I am just shocked by this news. I was surprised when halfway through reading this post I found myself crying, kind of a lot. I just adored Nancy’s letters and thought of her as one of my heroes. I can’t tell you how many times I thought, I really want to be just like her when I grow up.

    Love and hugs to you,

  181. Hey honey… I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. But I’m glad you crossed paths randomly in this life. We were all better for you sharing her and for having you light up our little worlds.

    Oh, and should I die and you actually hear about it, feel free to write my eulogy. Oh, and I’d like to be cremated, put in Tupperware (the real stuff) and buried. And then I want a big party where people tell embarassing stories about me. Feel free to join.

  182. I knew something was wrong this weekend. My Sunday martini and uppers second breakfast just didn’t taste as good as it usually does.

    Darling, we will miss you, even if you have disowned us.

    Sad in British Columbia~Lisa.

  183. Well, balls. She pretty much rocked my world. She was everything I hope to be if I get around to being old and surly. Maybe not the trail mix, but that’s a personal preference. I’m having a beer and belching loudly in her honor. I’ll probably say something terribly irreverent too. I hope I’m not alone in that, because I have a feeling that this lady would want a hell of a party.


  184. I’ll remember Nancy whenever I look at the “Judy Garland Trail Mix” engraved on my pill box. I hope they give you unlimited refills, Nancy. You earned ’em.

  185. I’m sorry for your loss, Jenny. The obituary is wonderful and totally appropriate; no one could wish a better one. I’m glad you posted it.

  186. I can see it now…Nancy and Dorothy tearing it up in the afterlife. Vodka Martinis all around!

  187. I’m so sorry. I wish there was more I could say. Losing someone is always hard, particularly when it is rather unexpected. But if she is even half the woman you’ve admired, she’s led a life worth living and touched a lot of lives. That’s all we can hope for in the short time we’re given here to live.

  188. @Beausaphine

    “I’m on a stupid public bus crying for someone I never met but accidentally love.”

    Me too. Except I’m not actually on a bus. The sentiment’s the same though. Thank you for introducing Nancy to us. She made my life a little brighter.

  189. Her self-written obituary actually made me BARK out laughter. She sounds like an amazing woman; I’m very sorry for your, her family’s, and the world’s loss.

  190. You always have me laughing to where I’m crying and peeing simultaneously…it’s definitely a gift, not my sad urine retention and emotion confusion but your powers of prose.
    This was a BEAUTIFUL tribute. Your friend Nancy would be oh so very proud! You’re a great friend.

  191. It sounds like she was an amazing person. I’m sorry for your loss, and wish I had had the pleasure of meeting her.

  192. Today is my first visit, the first of many I imagine, and I already feel like I lost a friend. I’m sorry for your loss, but I think she appreciates your send-off.


  193. I am so very sorry to hear this news, and for the lost of your friend. I found her letters outrageously hysterical, and read every post. Her passing is certainly a loss.

  194. Jenny,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I live in Indianapolis and am only about 5 minutes away from the funeral home where the calling is taking place so if you need me to do anything on behalf of you just let me know and I am there for you. My mom actually worked at this funeral home for years and they are wonderful people and will take great care of her and her family during this sad time.

    Here is a link to her other not-as-awesome obituary that I thought you might like to read if you haven’t already.


    Keeping you close in my thoughts.

  195. I’m sorry for everyone’s loss. Her posts were entertaining! She seemed like a fictional character, larger than life. More people than she thought will miss her.

  196. Reading this made me feel much like I did when Henry from MASH died, or when Radar left the show or when Coach died on Cheers.

    I totally mean that in the most respectful way.

  197. R.I.P. Nancy. You will be remembered for everything! Thanks for all the laughs, and your spitfire spirit.

  198. Fuck me running…

    I’m holding back tears, telling myself how bloody illogical it is to feel a sense of loss for a woman I never even knew aside from the letters you shared with us.

    You know what? Fuck logic.

    I’m so sorry for your loss, Jenny, Stephen. For everyone who felt that Nancy touched a part of their lives, even if, like me, they didn’t realize it.

    Thank you for sharing her with us when she was here Jenny. She will definitely be remembered for everything.

  199. Came back today to read this again and make sure someone linked Nancy’s obit in the Indy Star. I’m still pissed off at the universe that she’s gone. That broad was fucking badass.

  200. Oh Jenny, I am so sorry. I don’t think I have ever cried at a strangers death before. I didn’t even cry when my grandfather died (dementia had taken him long before his physical body died- Im not a monster) . But I am crying for Nancy W Kappes. I wanted to be her when I grew up. I related to her :a lot: and I loved that a person like her could live in this world. From another stranger, about a stranger- I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. I am even sorrier that the world lost her.


  201. that is so sad. i haven’t been reading your blog for that long, so i had to go back and read all the nancy stories i could find and i have decided that she must be some kind of superhero to have that much zest in her life. you’re right, the world will be a little darker without her, but at the very least she inspired a lot of other people. 🙂

  202. So sorry to hear that Nancy W. Kappes paralegal has passed. But you know she has Jesus backed in a corner and is giving em hell.

  203. In honour of Nancy I am giving my problems the day off and trying to be happy come what may. I think she would have liked her death to remind people how precious life is despite the daily crapwade. R.I.P Nancy.W.Kappes

  204. The fucking universe needs to leave you alone already! Damn girl. I am so sorry. I’m also sorry I never got arrested because I would’ve totally hired Nancy as my lawyer…

  205. I got to know and love Nancy through you posting her letters here, and God I am going to miss that woman. R.I.P., Nancy W. Kappes…you were one fucking awesome lady.

  206. Suddenly, I’m filled with no regret that I even got to meet her with you in Chicago that night and that she was so damn hilarious I was envious of her joy. Nancy, you’ll be missed. Jenny, you, too. But only because you’re far away from me. Not dead. Thank God.

  207. I worked with Nancy at H&M for several years, she and I connected on a level beyond normal work relationships. I confided in her when I felt I had noone else, and she accepted me and my situations without judgment, and returned only love and compassion. I left the law firm a few years back, but I made return trip several months ago and spent time with Nancy, showing her pictures of my new baby boy and catching up on old times. I always assumed she would be there as my oracle, giving me wit and wisdom to get through the dark times in life. Now she’s gone, and a piece of me hates myself for not spending more time talking and being with such a great woman. I just found out this morning of her passing, and I’m literally in shock. God bless you Nancy, I hope you’ve already gotten a few words in with PJP2, I know you were looking forward to that day. My condolences to her daughters, family…and especially Steve Arthur and the crew at H&M. She was family to alot of us, keep eachother close, she would have wanted it that way. Love you Nancy.

  208. No No and NO! I’d have to say meeting her last year at BlogHer in Chicago had to be almost THE BEST part of the entire trip. Never have I met someone that is so strangely refreshing, humorous, matter of fucking fact, down to earth with a fierce don’t take no shit from nobody attitude. She will be greatly greatly missed.
    RIP Nancy W. Kappes

  209. Thanks, Jenny, for introducing all of us to Nancy W. Kappes. She was awesomely funny and truly inspiring and a total kick-ass sort of way. As are you. I am so very sorry for your loss. Keep her spirit alive with your writing and just being your own awesome self.

  210. So very sorry to hear about the passing of the amazing, wonderful, crazy, funny Nancy W. Knappes. Hugs to you for the loss of your friend.

  211. She sounded like an incredible woman with a big pair of balls. This is the second time I read about Nancy today and the 4th blog talking about someone dying. aaaahhhhh. She was wrong in her eulogy. She will be remembered.

  212. Jenny, I’m sorry to be so late with my condolences to you and Nancy’s family. I mourn her loss with you and I am grateful you shared her e-mails.

    However, if Nancy died in her sleep, I’m really worried that she had undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea that caused her blood oxygen to fall to a level that would normally cause the brain to send a signal to wake up, but due to her Judy Garland trail mix her brain was too sedated to do that and instead her blood oxygen levels continued to fall to the level that tells the brain to stop sending the signals to breathe, so she died. This nearly happened to me — I almost died from a single Percocet just before I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. And by “almost died,” I mean ambulance, ER, coronary care unit for a couple of days and an angiogram.

    I hope that your readers who struggle with depression and daytime sleepiness or insomnia resolve to honor the memory of Nancy W. Kappes by seeing a sleep doctor and saving their lives. Bonus: getting obstructive sleep apnea treated can reduce the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, in addition to giving you more energy and joy in life.

  213. It’s wonderful advice and something that we could all probably stand to learn. Nancy died from heart failure though, quite suddenly. It’s was unexpected but kind of poetic. That heart had done one hell of a lot of living and loving. It’s probably also good to know that rheumatoid arthritis increases your chance of heart failure. It wasn’t anything I ever knew before but it’s something I’m aware of now. She may have saved me without even knowing it.

  214. This breaks my heart. I can’t even count the number of friends who I’ve made read Nancy’s emails, while we laughed and wished that we knew her. What a beautiful send off. She will be missed and I hope that, someday if you’re able, you’ll share more of her emails with us.

  215. That sucks. We are all going to miss her Jenny…she was an amazing woman and I loved the fact that she said exactly what she was thinking, everyone else be damned if they didn’t like it. She was an original, and will never be forgotten.

    RIP Nancy…we love you!

  216. Well, shit. I think the 300+ comments before mine have said everything I want to say, but it really all comes down to the same thing. Shit.

  217. Dear Nancy,

    I’ve loved your letters since I first read one and thought I had had an aneurism on my desk, but just realized it was happiness exploding in my brain, not my ACTUAL brain.

    So, DON’T rest in peace. I hope you go up to heaven and start yelling at angels and showing them how to do body shots. I hope G-D knocks on your door and asks you, AGAIN, to turn the music down. And I hope that when you get up there, everyone realizes that they had it easy until now, but you’re gonna show them how to party like a rock star.

    Kick ass, woman. You reached heights of awesomeness that made my head spin.



  218. Holy shit, I go on vacation and am unplugged for a week and then this happens. What.the.fuck? RIP Nancy W. Kappes Paralegal and note to self…unplugging for a week is bad juju

  219. Nancy passed away last week. I worked with Nancy at her old firm. She talked exactly the way she writes. She was a hard core rocker from back in the day of the Rolling Stones. She was mercurial and nuts and strange and spent hours coming up with inventive ways to use the word “fuck”. She was also the smartest woman in the world, a great mom, and would give you the shirt off her back, and often slipped me her last Marborlo when I couldn’t afford to buy my own (and neither could she.). I believe she had that trucker hat. I rode in her old G ride vehicle and smoked her cigarettes and loved every moment I got to spend with her. There will never be another Nancy W. and I am glad I found this website. She would be laughing her ass off and printing all these e-mails on firm letterhead to be passed out at the x-mas party. Party on, Nance.

  220. Dear Jenny,
    I am an old and dear friend of nancys from dansville ny. I just learned of her death, I am shocked and devestated. We have not seen each other for several years allthough she was always in my heart. We did
    alot of crazy but fun things together and loved every momment we spent together. She was a bridesmaid
    in my wedding. I would love to talk to you more and share some of our stories of our years trying to grow
    up in the 60s. She and I have so much in common,we have that common bond and were misunderstood
    so often. I am so happy that she has someone like you in her life.
    From Someone Who(Fucking) Loves Her

  221. Death is cruel; I’m so sorry for this loss and the pain you feel; may Nancy’s legacy live in through the people she touched… you know, in a not inappropriate way. Or maybe it was inapporpriate? I don’t know, whatever works. Hearts and hugs.

  222. This is terrible news. I’m sorry for your loss, Jenny, and I will miss Nancy’s e-mails to you!

  223. Sonofabitch, I am so fucking sorry Nancy’s gone. Some of her emails that you posted sent me into laughing hyena mode while I wondered how someone with her problems ( I am not going to call them challenges because a challenge is something completely different) was able to get up and do things, if only occasionally. I am going to miss knowing that Nancy W. Kappes (Paralegal) is out there somewhere and I might hear about her through you, Jenny.

  224. I’m so sorry. I went back and read every post with her mentioned, and now I feel like I knew her. She was an amazing person. I wish I would have known this long ago instead of having to find out this way.

  225. Rest in peace, you crazy awesome person. I never knew you, but I named a friend after you, and whenever I would pull out my bottle of mixed Advil/Tylenol (for headaches) I would think of you and your Judy Garland Trailmix. You will not effing be forgotten, Nancy, and I think that’s wonderful.

  226. My condolences.

    In her honor, I promise I’ll be furiously happy, and, as cheesy as it might seems, I’ll keep following my dreams (and (totally inappropriate and hysterical) desires.

    Thank you for bringing such joys into the lives of other peoples. You will not be forgotten, Nancy.?

  227. Well, dammit. Tonight I drink for you, Nancy! Aw, what the hell, I’ll drink all week for you…

  228. Jenny, I just read this, and I am so so sorry. I had hopes of one day starting a blog and going to BlogHer just so I could meet the two of you. I’m still holding out hope that I’ll get my shit together long enough to at least meet you someday. Thank you so much for sharing Nancy with the rest of us … the world will certainly not be the same without HER around.

    Bottoms up, Nancy, and spread that trail mix around … the Gods could use a little more surreality these days.

  229. A friend just sent me Nancy’s obit, and – a little later – the link to your blog. I then spent the evening reading, laughing, reminiscing and becoming reacquainted with my old friend.
    I met Nancy our freshman year at IU in 1970. In a quad filled with drugged out crazies, Nancy was the cream of the crop. Totally unfiltered – all the time – she made an immediate impression.
    Through college, her marriage to Richard and the birth of her daughter, Emily Rose, Nancy was always the brightest light in the room – even when you wanted it to be dark! She’d give us shit about getting high while she was tending the baby – then spend the rest of night schooling the boys. She taught me the best way down from a coke high is an inordinate amount of bourbon – and she also taught me how to laugh at your frailties, soldier through your tribulations and rejoice in your friends.
    Alas, by 1980, she & Richard were divorcing & I relocating – a move that unfortunately broke our connection. Through the grapevine I heard Nancy had remarried, and somehow got the impression that she had mellowed. It is only now that I learn that Nancy couldn’t be anyone other that Nancy.
    So what the fuck is the request in her official obit for donations to Marine Foundation of Indiana? I mean really – I needt to honor her memory, but I want it to be a donation she would approve.
    Any suggestions?
    My long lost friend – I regret that we didn’t reconnect in this life.

  230. I wish that I could’ve hauled my fibromyalgic ass to Chicago to meet you, Nancy. I do know for sure that I will get the chance to meet you someday, somehow. Until then, even after then, I’m going to do what Jenny is doing and be FURIOUSLY HAPPY. Fuck sadness, the depression can leave for a while–because I’m going to spite ALL of it!!!
    Thank You Jenny, for sharing Nancy W. Kappes with the world.
    I Love You.

  231. I am so so sorry to hear about Nancy, but so glad that she has inspired you to be furiously happy. She made the world a better place.

  232. I am late coming into this. I had read it, thought I had responded, but I hadn’t. Nancy sounds like a beautiful, funny, totally off-the-wall person who wasn’t afraid to show her true self to people. She sounds bold and brash, and I am sure she cherished her friendship with you, Jenny. I am just sad more people didn’t know her, she sounds like a helluva lady. R.I.P., Nancy. Jenny, you are always an inspiration, you make people feel close to you just by your words. It’s awesome, so thank you for being who you are, too.

  233. Oh wow. I haven’t checked any of the blogs I used to read in months and months, and stumbled across this today. Through your posts, I feel like I knew Nancy a little bit, and I feel honored and blessed for that. The world has lost a brilliant spark with her passing, and I thank you for sharing her with the world. My condolences to all who knew her.

  234. My best friend told me about your blog so I checked it out (ALWAYS listen to your friends). I was sucked in immediately – mostly because of attitude displayed by people like Nancy. I only “knew her for a few days and I feel as though the world has lost a kick-ass woman. I take comfort in knowing that there are others willing to carry the torch. I hope to be one of them.

    Thank you for sharing Nancy with all of us.

  235. I just now heard about Nancy’s passing, we were friends in the late 80’s and early 90’s but drifted apart after her divorce and as her children grew. I was fiends with both Miles and Nancy, and both thought that I would hang with the other one after the divorce, so I lost both of them as friends. My favorite memory of Nancy was when we went to a fund raisier for the Zoo with a big bunch of friends, and we all thought it would be fun to individually go to the band and dedicate a song to her. After the band came back from break, they called Nancy up, wanting to meet the woman who MULTIPLE people wanted to dedicate either “Wild Thing”, or “Born to be Wild”. We did not plan to request the same songs, we just all knew her well. I hadn’t seen Nancy in 15+ years, but still love and miss her.

  236. Wow, I am almost at a loss for words and that’s pretty rare.
    I have been reading your blog for a some time and while I have read a lot of your more current posts I have been slowly making my way through from the start.
    As I scrolled down and read this title the tears started to fall and my heart broke a little; for the loss of her and for you for the loss of your friend. This may be old news to many, but it is fresh to me.
    I thought you might like to know that (partly) because of your blog, this amazing women is still being discovered, remembered, loved, appreciated,and amusing the crap out of us. And because this comment somehow doesn’t seem appropriate without the use of some foul language, I raise my wine and say “fucking hell Nancy, you have left your unmistakeable mark and I can’t thank you enough for that! Oh, and I’m drinking my wine from a dixie cup just for you… and a little for me cause it seems kinda disturbing to think it holds both wine and ashes so well.” xoxo

  237. I am…so ANGRY! I can’t grasp this, any of this. Yes, I’m new to this world where apparently there ARE people like me; just a couple of weeks ago I thought I was alone, then I wasn’t, now one of my tribe has DIED? I’m crushed. I so wanted to meet this woman, wanted flesh-and-blood proof that the world was not as mediocre and milquetoast as I’ve experienced lately, now one of my idols is gone. This is shit.

  238. Big bag of aw fuck. I have been reading through your blog start to finish and one thought kept recurring. I have got to meet this Nancy W Kappes, paralegal and partake of the trail mix. The universe can be a bitch.

  239. Wow, I am sorry of your loss friendship and I am wondering is she relate to Ronald Joseph Kappes’s side families?

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