Nan Brockway Monk


Feb. 23, 1924 - Feb. 12, 2013



Lifelong Waukesha resident Nan Brockway Monk passed away peacefully Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, at Rennes Health Center West in Peshtigo, where she had lived since 2009. She was born Nan Helen Brockway on Feb. 23, 1924, in Waukesha, to parents Dr. Arthur W. Brockway and Beulah (Vail) Brockway.


As a young girl, Nan cherished her summers with family and friends on Pewaukee Lake. She graduated from Waukesha High School in 1941, and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry from Carroll University in 1945. Nan worked in the lab at Northwestern University Medical School in Chicago as a medical technologist and research biochemist, where she earned her Master of Science in biochemistry. In 1948, Nan married Dr. Robert S. Monk and began her most rewarding job of raising six children, including two sets of twins. In 1972, she stepped back into the workforce as a medical technologist for Waukesha Memorial Hospital, retiring in 1988.


Nan will best be remembered as a preservationist and historian, devoting much of her time to preserving treasures of the past. Her community-minded spirit touched many lives through her years of service to AAUW, Planned Parenthood, the Waukesha Landmarks Commission, the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Waukesha County Historical Society. She was very proud to have served as a founding member, state president and international vice president of Questers, International, and will always be known for her extensive “What Is It?” collection of historic American objects. Her passion for art and genealogy fueled her memorable travels around the globe, yet nothing was dearer to her than her family and friends at home. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and will always be remembered for her love of antiques, nature and art as well as her gracious and artistic sense of style and design.


Nan is survived by her six children, Judy (Alan) Reid of Racine, Robert (Vicki) Monk of La Crosse, Linda (John Vogel) Farina of Waukesha, Debbie (Robert) Kroll of Marinette, Stuart Monk of Waukesha and Steven Monk of Rochester, Minn. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Heidi (Dan) Dolan of Denver, Heather (Dan) Stacey of La Crosse, Julia Reid of Los Angeles, Andrew Farina of Milwaukee, Matthew Farina of New York City, Michael Farina of Waukesha, Henry (Heather) Reines of Marinette, Robert (Nadine Lerret) Reines of Chicago and Emily Monk of Rochester; and her great-grandchildren, Jourdan, Hadley, Sean, Evan and soon-to-arrive Loren. Nan is further survived by her niece, Pamm (David) Yellin, and nephew, David (Thinh) Brockway, and their families. She will be greatly missed by her loving family, friends and colleagues.


Nan was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Beulah Brockway; brothers, Robert and David Brockway; daughter-in-law, Ann Monk; and granddaughter, Madeline Reid.


A memorial visitation will be held at noon Saturday, Feb. 23, at the First United Methodist Church in Waukesha, followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m.


In lieu of flowers, donations in Nan’s name will be made to the organizations she held closest to her heart: the Waukesha County Historical Society, Carroll University and the Hope Center. 


Nan and her family would like to extend their sincere and deepest thanks to Dr. Martin Kern, Dr. Tom Mack, Heartland Hospice and the exceptional staff at Rennes West. 


The Hansen-Onion-Martell Funeral Home of Marinette, 715-735-3737, is assisting the family.