Nan was born August 4, 1927 in Sandpoint, Idaho to Earl and Mariam Clayton, and spent her childhood in Sandpoint and at the Blue C Ranch, on Blue Creek and the Clark Fork River in western Sanders County. She spent most of her life living in one or the other of these places. She went to elementary school in Sandpoint and at River Echoes School on the Clark Fork River near the Blue C. She graduated from Sandpoint High School in 1945, and entered nurses training at Deaconess Hospital in Spokane.
She worked as a nurse for over 50 years, first as a member of the United States Army Nurse Corps, and then in a number of positions that included company nurse for Morrison-Knutson during construction of Noxon Rapids Dam; office nurse at North Idaho Clinic for Drs. Neil Wendle, J.P. Munson and Fred Marineau, and for Dr. Marineau’s practice in Sandpoint; a long stint at Bonner General Hospital as floor nurse on swing shift; and a part-time “retirement job” at the Heron Clinic.
It was nursing that won her many scores of friends, as she took care of thousands of people in all stages of life during her career. It also led her to the man she would share her life with. While working as a Corps Nurse at the VA Hospital in Vancouver, Wash., Nan met Mitchell “Mickey” Compton. They married at First Presbyterian Church in Spokane June 10, 1950. For a short time, they lived in Shelton, Wash. and then, moved “home,” where they split their time between Sandpoint and Montana for most of their life together. After Mickey died in 1986, Nan became a permanent resident of her beloved “Timber Trails,” a portion of the Blue C Ranch purchased from family.
Nan was a member of First Presbyterian Church in Sandpoint for much of her youth and active in that community of faith while living in Sandpoint as an adult. In Montana, she was a member of Heron Methodist Church. She was a choir member, deacon and elder at First Presbyterian, and played the piano for Heron Methodist services for several decades, as well as serving on the church board.
Over time, Nan was a Cub Scout Den Mother, 4-H leader and member of Beta Sigma Phi in Sandpoint; a member of Ladies’ Aid, So ‘n Sews and Wednesday’s Women at Heron; member of Daughters of the American Revolution; a volunteer and board member for the Laurie Hill Library and Cabinet Mountains Historical Museum in Heron. She was Sanders County Citizen of the Year in 1991, and instrumental in getting the process rolling for a new Heron Bridge.
Nan and Mickey had four children, all of whom survive them; Sandy (Mitchell Jr.) at Timber Trails; Chris (Douglas Christian) and wife Carmen at the Blue C; Kent (Francis Kent) and wife Cindy of Boise; and Susan Ethel at Timber Trails. She is also survived by four grandchildren, Melissa (Christian) Thompson, Andrew (Jolene) Compton, Emily Compton, and Jonathan (Laci) Compton and two great-grandchildren, Lila Grace and Holland Patrick (Holly), children of Jonathan and Laci. Nan is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.
She and Mickey loved to travel and took their children on many road trips, and their children returned the favor in Nan’s retirement years. She loved her pets, flowers, birds, Jeopardy, horse races, baseball and was a die-hard Mariner’s fan.
Nan was preceded in death by her husband Mickey and a granddaughter, Amanda Mariam, as well as her parents and siblings.
Nan was known and loved by many people, more than her children know, and any attempt to list the special people in her life would be an exercise in omission. We would like to thank those who have been so helpful in this time of transition. In lieu of flowers or other memorials, please make a donation to the Laurie Hill Library in Heron or Heron Methodist Church.
A formal memorial is planned for the 2016 Centennial Celebration of the Blue C Ranch.