By Nicole Hamilton
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Nancy Korman's outgoing, spirited personality created a following of friends and admirers in Northside, the neighborhood where she lived her entire life.
Residents of the working-class community, some who played on the softball team she sponsored, used to gather at her bar and restaurant, Korman's Korner, to talk as she worked tending bar or running the kitchen.
Korman's Korner closed in the mid-1980s, but her tight-knit group of customers remained loyal - they just followed her to the next place she worked.
"Everybody knew her and loved being around her. They would go to where she was working, to see her and talk to her," said her cousin, Mary Sparks, of St. Bernard.
Nancy Jean Korman died Monday after a four-year battle with lung cancer at Mercy-Franciscan Western Hills Hospice. She was 55.
Throughout her life, Ms. Korman remained close to her friend Jan Englert, another Northside native.
The two eventually became sisters-in-law, when Ms. Englert married Ms. Korman's brother, John, around 1973.
Ms. Englert died Monday, while on vacation in the Bahamas, of an apparent heart attack. She was 57.
As young adults in the 1960s, the two worked as dancers at a small bar, clad in one of the era's trademark fashions - white go-go boots.
As they got older and family responsibilities set in, they traded their boots for card tables, staying in with other neighborhood friends for games of euchre. They also liked playing bingo.
A graduate of Aiken High School, Ms. Korman tended bar at various places before her husband, Donald, bought her Korman's Korner in the 1970s.
After the bar closed, she managed the kitchen at the Stockyard Cafe, and more recently, the kitchen at Winton Tavern.
She was devoted to her children and grandchildren, and her cousin said she enjoyed making crafts.
"She had a real eye, hands and imagination for crafts. She could make a nickel's worth of fabric look like a million dollars."
Her husband preceded her in death in 1982.
Survivors include a daughter, Tammy Hutzel of Bridgetown; two sons, James of Bridgetown and Donald of North College Hill; a brother, John Englert of Northside; three sisters, Robin Hicks of Northside, Sherry Weber of Groesbeck and Terri Maurits of Monfort Heights; and five grandchildren.
Services have been held. Burial was in Spring Grove Cemetery.
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