Nancy Diven Gillette

July 7, 2024
Gillette, Nancy, Photo
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Penn Yan – Nancy Diven Gillette, Heaven and angels came to earth July 7, 2024, and took Nancy home to be with her mother, two sons and other loved ones.

Friends may call on Thursday, July 18, 2024 from 12 noon until 1 p.m. at the Penn Yan United Methodist Church, where a memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Friends are invited to a reception following the service in the Methodist Memorial Building.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to, Penn Yan United Methodist Church, 166 Main St., Penn Yan, NY 14527, or to Humane Society of Yates, P.O. Box 12, Penn Yan, NY 14527, or to Keuka Comfort Care Home, P.O. Box 107, Penn Yan, NY 14527.

She was born at the Pulver family homestead to Kenneth Earl Diven and Nancy Doris Pulver April 9, 1929 on her mother’s 21st birthday.  She remembers a happy childhood through the depression era years.  She graduated from Penn Yan Academy in 1946, and RBI in Aug 1947, marrying Donald Gillette two days later.  They spent over 4 years moving frequently to follow Don’s road construction jobs. In 1952, they purchased a home on Keuka Lake where Nancy lived for 55 years, raising 3 sons. She worked at the Penn Yan United Methodist Church for 19 years, and then seven more at the Finger Lake Association.  She worked at the Red Cross blood canteens, recruited volunteers, and donated 17 gallons of blood.  Most recently, she was recognized by the Soldier and Sailors Hospital Auxiliary for over 4500 hours of volunteer work. Though many favored pastimes, sailing on Keuka was her most treasured.

She is survived by son Blair (Laurie); daughters-in-law, Robin Crist, Laurie H Gillette; grandchildren, Chad (Jennifer), Jacob (Courtney), Krista, Ryan (Kaitlyn), and Brenna Ogilvie (Tyler); great grandchildren, Marshall, June, Brent, Nora, Imogen, Genesis Rebecca, and Colin; Sister-in-law Kathleen Gillette, best friend Marilyn Smith, nieces, nephews and cousins.  

She was predeceased by sons, Bryan and Brent; mother, Doris; loving friend Dale; brothers and sisters-in-law, William and Elsie Gillette, Mildred and Harold Burke, Kenneth Gillette and former husband Donald Gillette 

Please visit to send a message of condolence to the Gillette Family.


Calling Hours

Penn Yan United Methodist Church

Thursday, July 18, 2024
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Penn Yan United Methodist Church
Main Street, Penn Yan
Get Directions

Memorial Service

Penn Yan United Methodist Church

Thursday, July 18, 2024
1:00 PM
Penn Yan United Methodist Church
Main Street, Penn Yan
Get Directions


Karen Ambroz from Parker, Colorado on Jul. 11, 2024

So sorry, Nancy was a beautiful person. My husband and I knew her many years. She will be missed.

Marcia Stephenson from West Lafayette, IN on Jul. 15, 2024

I was very sorry to hear the news of Nancy's passing. She was a dear friend to our family. I thought of her as a living archive because she knew everyone and always helped me fill in details of stories from my childhood. Ever a kind and generous person, she will be missed.

Mark Stephenson from Napa, CA on Jul. 17, 2024

We are sorry to learn of Nancy’s passing! Nancy volunteered and worked at the Penn Yan United Methodist Church while our father, Sheldon Stephenson was the pastor from 1952-62. She volunteered for many church activities and was always willing to lend a hand! My brother Tom and sister Marcia occasionally visited the Gillette’s cottage to go swimming and boating with them as Brian, Brent and Blair were close to us in age. Nancy had the most amazing memory and never forgot a face! I’m sure she will be greatly missed by the Penn Yan community for all of her incredible loving service.

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