Nanci was born on May 12, 1939 in Chicago, Illinois to William Cherry, Sr. and Dorothy (Harrison) Cherry. She graduated from Hirsch High School in 1957.
After giving birth to two children, she began her college career at Fisk University when her youngest began Kindergarten. She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a major in English from Fisk 1975 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society. After graduation, she then attended Vanderbilt University School of Law and graduated in 1978.
After passing the Tennessee Bar exam, Nanci worked as an attorney for the Veteran’s Administration until she retired in the late 1990’s. . After her retirement from the V.A., she worked part-time for St. Vincent de Paul Catholic School. She also had the honor of being the First Lady of both Tennessee State University and Fisk University.
Nanci was active in numerous organizations to include being Treasurer of Nashville Fisk Club, Board Member of The Continental Homeowner’s Association, a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., NAACP Life Member, Fisk University Alumni Association Life Member, Napier-Looby Bar Association, National Bar Association, Nashville Bar Association, Lawyers Association for Women, Tennessee Association for Black Lawyers, and served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society as well as Edgehill Community Center.
Her death is preceded by her husband, Rutherford Adkins. She is survived by: her two children, William Pugh and Pamela (Pugh) Joseph; three grandchildren, Pamela Pugh, Dirk Joseph, II (B.J.), and Parker Joseph; her sister, Sherry Cherry, brother, Anthony Cherry. In addition, she leaves behind, her former son-in-law, Dirk B. Joseph, Sr. and former daughter-in-law, Monika Joyner Pugh; Many nephews and nieces to include; Guy Cherry, Justin Cherry, Anthony Cherry, Jr., Candace Cherry, Nanci Cherry, Sherry Cherry, Joya Cherry, Necole Smith, Krystle Cherry, Seanae Cherry and a host of other family and close friends