She was a familiar face to decades of Phantom Regiment alumni, tiny in stature but huge when it came to the respect she earned from everyone around her. Nancy St. Angel, who had been a volunteer in many roles since the 1960s, died unexpectedly Friday, December 15.
Nancy never had a starring role, but she quietly worked behind the scenes for decades, doing whatever was needed to help Phantom Regiment. Her efforts earned her induction into the Phantom Regiment Hall of Fame in 2022.
When she first married her late husband, David St. Angel, who was a visual instructor in the 1960s and ’70s, she became a chaperone for the corps and even carried the American flag in a parade when some color guard members became ill. In the 1980s and ’90s, when David was director, she helped modernize how the corps handled record-keeping and communications to the members and fan base. Her son, Kevin, marched in the corps during this time and she was again a bus chaperone – including on his bus. Mostly recently, she was a valuable member of the corps’ outstanding sewing crew.
“She was, for sure, a Regiment powerhouse,” said Ron Schulz, former corps director and tour director. “She truly loved the Regiment.”
Nancy and David, who is also a Phantom Regiment hall of famer and was the director for some of the corps’ most memorable seasons, were the housing parents for numerous marching members and staff members in the 1980s and ’90s.
“The mountain of volunteer work put in by Nancy along with her many accomplishments while serving in so many key roles during her six-plus decades of service, are probably unparalleled,” said Tim Farrell, long-time board president. “What stands as most significant about her accomplishments, is that through it all and without fail, Nancy was the friendliest and most caring person that I was lucky enough to know.”
Current tour director and board member Joe Taylor (who was housed by the St. Angels as a marching member) relayed a story from 2021 that exhibited Nancy’s dedication to the corps: She went to dialysis a couple times week in Rockford but when she was needed during the corps’ spring training in Evansville, Ind., she moved her dialysis appointments to Evansville and made the trip with the sewing crew.
Said John Baumgartner, former corps director and tour director, “Her love of family and Phantom Regiment was very special. It’s hard to acknowledge all her contributions to the organization because there so many. She wore many hats!”
You can read her full obituary HERE
Her hall of fame bio is HERE