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Nancy Donovan aka The Worm Lady

By Debbie Roland and Permian Basin Master Gardeners

Nancy Donovan (also known as The Worm Lady) one of our most active and beloved members died August 9 from COVID. She was outgoing and funny and we all called her a friend. You may have met her when you took one of her “worm” classes or when she showed her worms at places like the Kids Farmers Market for the West Texas Food Bank, the Midland County Fair or many other places she taught. She was always available to answer gardening questions and give talks about starting your own worm farm and even provide a few worms for anyone’s “red wiggler” venture.

She joined Master Gardeners in 2000 and became interested in Vermicomposting which is using worms to recycle food scraps and other organic material into a soil amendment. Nancy was a member of the Board of Directors, served on most committees at one time or another and showed up for countless workdays on our projects and gardens. In addition, she was in charge of our Facebook page, our website and updating our Plant List. She leaves a large hole in our membership.

The picture below was taken in June by her dear friend Kenny at the MCH Farmers Market. She helped him sell vegetables at both Odessa Farmers Markets.

Nancy enjoyed a healthy, happy life (mostly in her yard and greenhouse) until she was stricken by this terrible disease. She leaves behind the people she loved most: Her husband, Dennis, four children, Adam, Brandon, Tricia and Deanna, and her grandson, Grant (who, like most grandkids, she loved from somewhere deep in her heart that no one else understands), and a large community of friends.

Hug the people you care about and tell them that you love them.

If you have questions, please call the AgriLife office in Odessa at 498-4071 or in Midland at 686-4700 for more gardening information. Additional information is available at and


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