We are all very sad to announce the recent passing of Lucia Nash, owner of the Circle Z Ranch since 1975. Her legacy of conservation and her years of dedication to the ranch will continue on through her family, Rick, Diana and Preston Nash, as well as the Lorta family. A memorial and dedication is being planned the Fall of 2018 at the Circle Z Ranch. Following is her obituary.
Lucia S. Nash died peacefully at her home on December 20th, 2017. Born on August 29th, 1928, in Cleveland, OH to Kelvin and Eleanor Smith. She attended Hathaway Brown School and Smith College. After Smith College she worked for a brief time at White Motors.
Lucia met her future husband Richard Preston Nash, Jr at a White Elephant sale in Cleveland. After they married, the couple moved to her grandparents’ Crosscavan farm in Novelty OH, where she lived for the rest of her life. There she pursued her passion as a horse woman, a champion of nature and her philanthropic work.
Traveling to Arizona in the 1930’s with her family, she fell for the West. With her feet planted firmly in her Cleveland roots, her heart soared in the mountains of the Southwest. She reacquainted herself with the Circle Z Ranch after a thirty year absence, introducing her family to the splendor of Southern Arizona. When the opportunity of owning the ranch arose in the 1970’s, she jumped on it. She bought adjoining lands as they became available, and today nearly the same amount of land is protected and unspoiled as when the ranch began as a dude ranch in the mid 1920’s.
Her acquired love of nature handed down from her parents inspired her to volunteer tirelessly for the Nature Conservancy of Arizona and Ohio. Many conservation success stories exist today because of her dogged efforts. She also humbly worked to better organizations, such as Rainbow Children’s Hospital, The Garden Center (as it was once known), HB School, Severance Hall Restoration efforts, The Natural History Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art, Case Western University and others.
Lucia was also a passionate gardener, antique book collector, train buff and music lover. She was also a great story teller, weaving tales of her fairy tale life and her myriad of interests.
She is survived by her daughter Audrey Knight (Steve Ells), her son Richard P Nash of Montana (Diana M.), and her grandson Preston Nash. She leaves behind many close friends and family in the Cleveland area. A memorial service and reception will be held at the Chagrin Valley Hunt Club, 7620 Old Mill Rd., Gates Mills, OH 44040 on Friday. January 5th at 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial gifts to Hospice of the Western Reserve, 17876 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44110.