There will be a memorial service for Nora Percival at the Boone Temple of the High Country-Schaefer Jewish Community Center, 1043 West King Street, on Sunday, May 21, at 4:00 pm.
Nora was born in 1914 in Samara, Russia, and died at her home in Vilas on February 14 of this year. She lived through a number of historical events and personal tragedies. As a young girl she survived the end of World War I, the rise of communism that forced her father to flee to the U.S., a terrible famine, and the loss of her mother to pernicious anemia. Later she experienced the Great Depression while a college student in New York, and the early death of her first husband. With her second husband she lived through the turmoil of World War II, and raised her five children. Her career included a number of positions with publishing houses; Director of Alumnae Affairs and editor of the alumnae magazine at her alma mater, Barnard College; and running a local newspaper with her husband in Kent, CT.
After her husband’s death, she moved to Boone in 1986 to be near her daughters, Laurie Oates, Nora Percival and Elizabeth Percival, and since then she has been a fixture of the local scene. She was an active member of the Appalachian State University Senior Scholars, and was designated a lifetime member. She was an foundational member of the High Country Writer’s Group, where she published three memoirs and a novel (available at norapercival.com), edited other members’ books, participated in many book fairs, and was honored with establishment of a Nora Percival Writer’s Award. As well she was a volunteer at the Watauga Medical CB Jones Cancer center. Most recently this newspaper reported on her performing her civic duty by voting in the last election at the age 102.
She is survived by her son and four daughters; eleven grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.