“Postpone nothing and make sure that the important people in your lives know that they are beloved.”

– Nancy Butler

Who is and was Nancy Butler?

 Nancy lived a life void of guilt or regret, extending care, compassion, and gratitude towards everyone and everything she met.

Nancy's Life in Photos


Conservation: Rio Grande Headwaters Land Trust

Nancy’s Eulogy

Hope Flags

The “hope flags” that hung in Nancy’s house were handcrafted by her friends and family after her initial diagnosis in 2003. They were designed to emulate traditional eastern prayer flags as symbols of compassion, peace, strength, and hope. The flags was made individually with either a message or image of encouragement, hope, and love, then strung together to create a powerful representation of all the people who loved and cared for Nancy. Each flag is completely unique, designed specially by each of her friends and family to represent their love and wishes for her as she began her cancer journey.
In times of despair, they provide hope and encouragement; in times of joy, they are reminders of all we have to be grateful for, from the experiences we share to the people we meet.


Nancy’s philosophy of postpone nothing inspired these musical tributes:

“Last Day on Earth”

By Caitlin Quisenberry

See Official Music Video


“Everywhere You Go”

By Vicky Curtis, Stuart Mathis

Vocals by Sara Aili, Stuart Mathis, Levi Mathis, Video by Holly Mathis

Download track of vocals and instrumental.   Lyrics.

Timeline of Nancy’s Life Since Diagnosis



Diagnosed with stage 3 inflammatory breast cancer

Started chemotherapy.
Took care of her eldery father.


3 week trip to Australia


Hiked her 100th mountain


3 week trip to Romania

Where she had served in the Peace Corps.


3 week trip to Argentina and Chile

Continued Chemotherapy 


Married her partner Lee Carpenter


Started building a new house with her husband in the San Luis valley


16 day raft trip on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon

Ed Butler, her father, passed away


Finished building her home in the San Luis Valley


Became foster parents

Caring primarily for a girl with developmental disabilities
Cancer came back and she began chemo indefinitely
3 week trip to Nepal


Achieved the Rio Grande Initiatie goal of conserving more than 25,000 acres of land along the Rio Grande River


2 week trip to Hawaii

2 week trip to Mexico during Hurricane Patricia


3 week trip to Peru and Uruguay

2 week trip to Canada


2 week trip to Belize

Went skydiving in Fort Collins 
2 week trip to Mexico


Became exchange parents for a student from India

Put on oxygen as cancer spread into her lungs
1 week trip to Florida
Long weekend in Chicago 

November 29th 2019

Nancy Butler passed away

She passed peacefully in the home she built with her husband in the San Luis valley along the Rio Grande River surrounded by family.  

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