Nancy Zolzer Fleming

Nancy Zolzer Fleming (Baltimore Sun / September 20, 2011)

Nancy Z. Fleming, a former educator and homemaker who participated in a University of Maryland Alzheimer disease study, died Sept. 14 of the disease at Emeritus Towson Assisted Living.

The longtime Towson resident was 73.

The daughter of a banker and a homemaker, the former Nancy Zolzer was born and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y.

After graduating from St. Agnes High School, she earned a bachelor's degree in 1956 from Dumbarton College in Washington, which is now part of Howard University. In 1962, she earned a master's degree in education from Hofstra University.

Mrs. Fleming began her teaching career at Grand Avenue School on Long Island. After her 1964 marriage to Robert M. Fleming, who was then in group sales for Pan American Airways, the couple moved to Towson.

In the late 1960s, Mrs. Fleming taught at Stoneleigh Elementary School for several years before leaving teaching to raise her three daughters.

After her children were grown, Mrs. Fleming worked as a travel consultant and for a decade was an Avon Cosmetics coach and sales representative.

When diagnosed in 2004 with the disease that eventually took her life, Mrs. Fleming "wanted to leave a legacy of hope for others," said a daughter, Kelly F. Paszkiewicz of Lutherville.

She was a member of the Timonium Alzheimers' Support Group and later joined a University of Maryland Alzheimers study.

"The study chronicled the last three years of her living with this tragic disease. The final videotaping was completed only one day before she passed away," her daughter said. "The result will be a series of DVDs that help Alzheimer caregivers and health professionals better understand the treatment needs and care of their patients."

Her daughter said her mother "considered her participation in this study her gift to others afflicted with this disease."

Mrs. Fleming enjoyed cooking and entertaining and was a member of the Towson Gourmet Club. She also enjoyed traveling.

She was a communicant of Immaculate Conception Roman Catholic Church in Towson, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday.

In addition to her husband of 47 years, who retired as group resource manager for MBNA, and her daughter, Mrs. Fleming is survived by two other daughters, Michele Klesius of Landenberg, Pa., and Megan Elliott of New York City; a brother, Richard Zolzer of Lincoln, Mont.; and seven grandchildren.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com