July 30, 2022


Nancy Williams Hockett Shaw

September 24, 1942   -  July 31, 2022


Nancy Williams Hockett Shaw was born on September 24, 1942, in Long Branch, New Jersey to Julia Etta and Charles Williams Hockett.  Nancy grew up in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she graduated from Bartram High School in 1960.  In 1961 she enrolled in Jarvis Christian College and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. 

Beginning in Indianapolis, Nancy’s professional career was one of accomplishments and “firsts.”  Her first employment was at Flanner House, a social service agency where she held positions as adult education instructor, social worker, and special assistant to the President of the Board (Dr. Cleo Blackburn.) In 1971 she became the director of the Indianapolis-Marion County Human Rights Commission, the first black woman to attain department head status.  In 1979, she was employed by Eli Lily and Co., where during her twenty-one years at the company she held the positions of recruitment associate, developing the company’s first comprehensive minority recruitment strategy, and human resources administrator.  Being named manager of affirmative action, she was the first black woman promoted to manager at Lilly from which she retired in 2001.

Nancy participated in numerous volunteer capacities, serving on the board of directors of the YMCA, the Indianapolis Urban League, and United Way of Greater Indianapolis, Indianapolis Business Development Foundation, Community Service Council, Coalition of One Hundred Black Women, NAACP, YWCA, Indiana Black Expo, and Community Action Program.  She also served as school desegregation consultant to the Hoosier Capitol Girls Scouts, founding co-chair of the Indianapolis Human Relations Consortium, the United Negro College Fund’s Indianapolis Advisory Council, and chair of the UNCF “A mind is” campaign.  Nancy also served on the American Legion Post Ladies Auxiliary. 

Nancy enjoyed an active lifestyle that included an avid love of golf.  Her love and passion for the game took her all over the United States and as far as the Dominican Republic.  She also competed and won multiple matches and amateur tourneys, as in her professional life, Nancy’s driving spirit and winning attitude helped her earn these victories. 

As an active and supportive alumna of Jarvis Christian College, Nancy was very generous in sharing her time, talent, and treasures.  She served as the Midwest Vice President of the Jarvis Christian College National Alumni Association, chairperson of the Board of Visitors, and coordinator for the Class of 1965.  Additionally, she served on the Jarvis Christian College Board of Trustees. As a Board of Visitors member, she procured funding for and supervised the building of a playground for children of Jarvis students. 

Nancy has been recognized for her contribution to the Indianapolis Community and Jarvis: Lifetime Achievement Award for Volunteerism by the United Way of Greater Indianapolis, recognition by the National Council of Christians and Jews, Phyllis Wheatley Outstanding Woman of the Year by the YWCA, Pioneer Hall of Fame inductee, and Fred Hearns Award for Excellence at Jarvis Christian College. 

As a member of All Saints Episcopal Church, she served as Senior Warden, member of the Vestry, Acolyte Sponsor, member of the Commission on Ministry, Diocesan Standing Committee, and Bishop’s Advisory Committee on Applicants for Ministry. 

Nancy is survived by one daughter, Kelly; grandson, Andrew Brown; sisters, Julia Roseberry, Delores Dorsey (James); brothers, Richard and Edmond Hockett; and a host of nieces and nephews, and extended family.

She was preceded in death by her mother and father; brothers, Charles Jr., Kenneth Leonard; and sister, Shirley Kitt. 


Humbly Submitted            The Family


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August 13, 2022

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
All Saints Episcopal Church
1559 Central Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202

Celebration of Life
August 13, 2022

11:00 AM
All Saints Episcopal Church
1559 Central Avenue
Indianapolis, IN 46202

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