Nancy Alboucq

Nancy Alboucq

Nancy Barrow Alboucq, age 55, much-loved wife of Steve Alboucq, mother of Cara, sister of Linda Hobbs and daughter of Josie and Wally Barrow, lost her short battle with pancreatic cancer on Thursday, June 20, in Seattle.

Nancy was loved by so many in her hometown of Eastsound, Wash., on Orcas Island, as well as in the Seattle area, where she was born February 18, 1958, and spent most of her life.

Nancy was a graduate of Mercer Island High School (1976) and Washington State University (1980) where she met the love of her life, Steve Alboucq. They were married in 1984 and made their home in Seattle, then Bellevue, until moving to Orcas Island four years ago.

Nancy was a natural athlete and competed at a high level as a gymnast for her high school team. She was also an exceptional water skier.

Nancy earned a college degree in fine arts with an emphasis in ceramics. She was an accomplished potter, and her first job out of school was for Seattle Pottery.

She pursued a lifelong passion for fine art in her many travels in the U.S. and abroad. Nancy was employed as a manager for the Holland America Line, and as a bookkeeper for Sam Rubinstein, one of Seattle’s most prominent business and cultural leaders.

Nancy and her family began spending their summers on Orcas when she was nine years old. She fell in love with the beach, the water, the wildflowers and all of the island’s critters. She made a vow to live there one day.

On Orcas Island, she was an active volunteer and “citizen scientist,” dedicated to learning about and protecting the marine life and natural resources of the Salish Sea through stewardship, outreach and research. She was one of the “shopgirls” at Tres Fabu, a honeybee keeper, avid gardener, book club member, basket weaver, phytoplankton tracker, band wife and agate hunter.

More than anything, she was a devoted mother and family member. In addition to Steve, Cara and her parents, Nancy leaves behind her sister, Linda Hobbs, brother-in-law Russ Hobbs, and nephews David and Willie Hobbs, of Whitefish, Montana. She will be greatly missed, but she will live on in our hearts.

To all who knew her, Nancy exemplified these words in the way she lived her life:

“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

“Kindness is something we receive and have to pass along in order to keep it.”

Nancy’s immediate family will hold a private memorial in the near future to spread Nancy’s ashes per her wishes. A formal memorial celebration of Nancy’s life is planned for later in the year.

Contributions in her memory can be made to The SeaDoc Society ( or The San Juan Preservation Trust (

Submitted by Nancy Alboucq’s family.