Nancy Ruth Biery, political strategist and consultant, died of cancer on March 23, 2018. She was diagnosed with leiomyosarcoma (LMS) in mid-2016. LMS is a rare and aggressive disease with no known cause, no early symptoms, and no tests or screenings. Biery passed at home on the Olympic Peninsula in the presence of her husband Bill and three adorable rescue dogs.
Born in September 1954 to Jerry and Frances Joswick in Chicago, Nancy was raised in Barrington Hills, where she met her husband of 45 years, William L. “Bill” Biery, and married on Dec. 30, 1972.
A President’s Scholar, Biery graduated from the UC Irvine. She worked with her husband, running their environmental engineering firm and developed her keen interest in emerging environmental issues.
One of her initial passions was volunteering and working with the Nature Conservancy of Hawaii. On Maui, Biery started her career in politics. Returning to the mainland in 1992 she and her husband called Kitsap, Jefferson and Clallam counties home.
Nancy was appointed to serve on the Salmon Recovery Funding Board and confirmed by unanimous vote of the state Senate. Biery was passionate about salmon recovery. She was also appointed to the state’s Executive Ethics Board and the Higher Education Coordinating Board.
Over the course of more than 20 years, Biery championed some of the best and brightest political candidates in Hawaii and Washington, extending all the way to Washington, D.C. Biery served as the Chair, Jefferson County Democrats and Vice-Chair of the 23rd Legislative District Democrats and honed her political skills as field director for the Washington State Democrats.
Biery has been the driving force behind at least 25 winning campaigns.
From the successful election of Washington Supreme Court Justices to district, council, mayoral, legislative and county commissioner races, Biery has been the muscle behind the decisions and tactics to move progressive candidates and ideas forward.
Biery is survived by her husband Bill Biery and her mother Fran Joswick, a retired social worker and homeless resource administrator, both of Sequim. Biery’s father Jerry died in 1992.
Biery’s wit and vision perfectly suited her to political work. Biery chose to stay behind the scenes because she loved the process of mentoring and elevating capable and smart people to elected office. When asked why she never ran for office, Biery said, “There are two things I love to do … connecting people and getting good candidates elected in order to make the world a better place.” Biery left her mark on every community she served.
Biery had a fierce Hawaiian heart. She believed in living a pono life, (a conscious decision to do the right thing in terms of self, others, and the environment) with aloha (love, affection, compassion, grace, charity). She was a champion of her candidates and causes, a lover of nature and the environment, a champion for peace and justice, a loyal friend and lifelong partner and wife. She was especially grateful for friends’ and colleagues’ steadfast support throughout her career and during her illness.
A memorial tribute/celebration will be held at Hood Canal Vista Pavilion in Port Gamble from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Sunday, June 10. Former Governor Gary Locke will be delivering the eulogy.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memoriam can be made to:
West Coast Sustainable Salmon Foundation 100 South I St. Ste. 103 Aberdeen, WA 98520 (Honor of Nancy)
Center Valley Animal Rescue, Quilcene – www.centervalleyanimalrescue.org/
Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County – vhocc.org/