Nora Lourie Percival (Gund), age 102, of Greer Lane, Vilas, died February 14th.

She was a great storyteller, a mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and writer of three memoirs about her life and dramatic historic events she experienced. She enjoyed her family, had many wonderful friends with whom she liked to spend her time, and also liked traveling, reading, gardening and watching old movies.
    She always expressed amazement that, from being an only child who lost all her family early, she could end up giving rise to a large tribe of caring, loving people who work to make the world a better place. She graduated from Barnard College Class in 1936 and was a career woman when that was still unusual. She encouraged and inspired her offspring to be strong, independent, and creative.
    Nora Lourie was born in Samara, Russia, on October 14, 1914, to Adolf Lourie and Olga Eliasberg. After surviving the Russian revolution, famine, and communist oppression, at age eight she and her mother immigrated to New York City to join her father, who had earlier fled from the Bolshevik revolution. Those early experiences and the tragic death of her mother are recounted in her memoir, Weather of the Heart.
    Her years at Barnard College in New York City during the Great Depression, her great love for Columbia College poet and journalism student Herman Gund, their marriage and his early death while she was pregnant with their son, are described in her second memoir, Silver Pages on the Lawn. Her third memoir, The Whirligig of Time, recounts her second marriage to James Percival, her experiences on the home front during World War II as a counselor to women workers, and her life raising her son and four daughters in Buchanan, VA, Long Island, NY and Kent, CT. Details can be found at
    Nora had a long career, mostly in publishing and editing. She was Director of Alumnae Affairs at Barnard College and later editor of the Barnard Alumnae magazine. She was a dedicated supporter of women’s education and loved her college and continued as Class Correspondent for the Barnard Magazine until last year. She received a President’s Award for her long service to Barnard at her 75th Class Reunion in 2011. She also published, with her husband, a local small town newspaper The Forum of Kent, [Conn.] when they were already in their mid-60’s.
    Nora has been active in Boone since moving here in 1985 to be near her daughters. She was a long-term member of the Appalachian State Senior Scholars, where she was awarded lifetime membership. She was an early member of High Country Writers of Boone, where in addition to presenting her own work and receiving several awards for her writing, she acted as mentor and editor for many of the other writers.
    Nora is survived by her son Peter Gund of Fort Myers, FL; daughters Elizabeth Percival of West Jefferson, NC; Jill Wynns of San Francisco, CA; Laurie Percival Oates of Sugar Grove, NC; and Nora James Percival of Seattle, WA. She also is survived by eleven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren: Suzanne Hale and daughters Juliette and Audrey; Ganesha Howell; Isani Howell; Justin Wynns and children William and Natasja; Emily Wynns Francis and daughter Lucia; Evan Wynns and son Owen; Jesse Oates Vest; Austin Oates; Anna Miller; Zoe Friesen; Irene Muller and daughter Wilder Mae.
    A memorial service will be held Sunday afternoon, May 21, 2017 at 4 oclock at the Temple of the High Country - Schafer Jewish Community at 1043 West King Street, Boone, NC 28607.
    In lieu of flowers, donations in her name may be offered to Barnard College, 3009 Broadway, New York, NY 10027.
    Letters of remembrance and photographs will be displayed, and may be sent to Laurie Oaters, PO Box 4, Sugar Grove, NC 28679.
    Online condolences may be shared at the website
    Austin & Barnes Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the Percival family.

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