In memoriam: Emeritus missionary Nancy Laramore, 77

Nancy Laramore

Nancy Laramore

Nancy Sparks Laramore, an emeritus International Mission Board missionary who shared the gospel among American Affinity Peoples in Guatemala and among Sub-Saharan African Affinity Peoples in Kenya and Tanzania, died Aug. 31, 2019. She was 77.

Born Feb. 3, 1942, in Rome, Ga., to Hiram and Margaret Bobo, Laramore grew up in Bowdon, Ga., where she graduated from Bowdon High School as valedictorian in 1960. In 1964 she received the Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Mercer University, Macon, Ga., and later attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

When she first sought missionary appointment, Laramore wrote about her involvement in WMU missions organizations in her church beginning in childhood.

The first time she attended GA (now Girls in Action) camp, she wrote, “the Lord spoke to my heart about missions as the various missionaries presented the needs of the countries in which they were serving. I felt then, at the age of 10, that the Lord wanted me to be a missionary.”

That commitment only grew as she became deeply involved in church activities and returned to GA camp again and again, first as a camper and then as a counselor. Later she served as a summer missionary with the Southern Baptist Home (now North American) Mission Board in California and Colorado.

“I felt then, at the age of 10, that the Lord wanted me to be a missionary.”

She married John Ernest Laramore on Aug. 23, 1964. Together they served churches where her husband was pastor in Cartersville and near Villa Rica, Ga. Laramore also taught school and tutored.

The couple were appointed as IMB missionaries on Oct. 13, 1970, and moved with their children to Costa Rica for language learning and then to Guatemala, where John worked as a church planter and Nancy homeschooled their children, taught children’s Bible classes, taught literacy, participated in a women’s prison ministry and served as mission secretary. They returned in 1978 to the U.S., where John served as pastor of churches in Warwick, Atlanta and East Point, Ga.

The Laramores returned to career missionary service in 1998, this time going to Kenya for language learning and then to Tanzania to engage in church planting and development. Once again, Nancy taught literacy and worked with children. The couple served a total of 16 years as missionaries before retirement.

Laramore is survived by her husband of 55 years; a daughter, Suzanne Crocker of Huntsville, Ala.; a son, Philip Laramore of Littleton, Colo.; and five grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Sept. 4, 2019, at Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church in the Clem community of Carroll County, Ga.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Laramore’s memory may be made to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering®, IMB, 3806 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA 23230.

Read an obituary here.

The Lottie Moon Christmas Offering® is a registered trademark of Woman’s Missionary Union.