Sewing 08


Nancy Ann (Garbutt) Bregar

August 3, 1961 ~ February 22, 2019 (age 57)

 Nancy (Strubbe) Bregar, 57, of Lake Road, Ashtabula, died unexpectedly at her home the morning Feb. 22.


 Nancy was a well-known seamstress who worked at home. She had customers from Ashtabula and throughout Northeast Ohio, doing everything from hemming pants and sewing on a button, to her real passion, altering beautiful wedding dresses. Her sewing skills were matched by her warm personality.


 Nancy made clothes for her daughters Erin and Kayla including Halloween costumes and prom dresses. She was very committed to her daughters, taking them to many activities, like dance, piano, singing lessons, ice skating and sports.  She did legal assistant work for many years, sewing in the off-hours and weekends at her business, Seams Unique. She worked at the Thayer and Naylor law firm in Conneaut, Ashtabula County Western County Court in Geneva and the Dworken & Bernstein firm in Painesville.  In 2016, she left Dworken & Bernstein and realized her dream of being a full-time seamstress. She married Bill Bregar that summer, in a wedding at Lakehouse Inn in Geneva and honeymooned in Montreal.


She took many wonderful vacations with her family. The beach was her favorite destination.  One recent highlight was when she accompanied her husband on a business trip to Denver in early February. They toured an exhibit on the history of pioneering French fashion house Christian Dior.


Just in the last month or two, Nancy planned and coordinated construction to turn her house and Seams Unique into a real, professional showplace, complete with a private changing room, something she long desired. Sadly, she died soon after the work was finished, but was overjoyed to have a few brides use and admire it.


 Nancy was born on Aug. 3, 1961, to Robert and Lona (Buttermore) Garbutt. For elementary school and junior high she attended Cleveland municipal schools in the gifted and talented program. She graduated from Conneaut High School in 1979, where she played clarinet in the marching band.


In 2010, she earned an associate’s degree from Kent State Ashtabula in ITAP (Information Technology for Administrative Professionals). She also helped run Strubbe Machine with her first husband, Jim Strubbe.

Nancy was a member of the Ashtabula Elks Lodge. She loved walking from her home to the beach behind the Elks to see the sunset, and often took her beloved dogs, Sadie and Annie, along to let them fetch sticks in Lake Erie.  


She is survived by her husband, Bill Bregar, daughter Erin Bovee (Marc) of Ashtabula, daughter Kayla Scheanon (Joe) and granddaughter Auroara, of Ashtabula. Other survivors include her parents, Robert Garbutt of Ashtabula and Lona Buttermore of Conneaut; brothers Mike Garbutt of Conneaut, Gary Wonner of East Palestine and Robert Garbutt of Medina; first husband Jim Strubbe and his family; and aunts, uncles and many cousins.


Funeral services will be held Saturday at 10:00 AM at the Ashtabula Home of Fleming & Billman Funeral Directors and Crematory, 526 W. Prospect Rd., Ashtabula with Pastor Bill McMinn of Eagleville Bible Church officiating.  Burial will be in East Trumbull Cemetery.


Calling hours will be held Friday from 5-8 PM at the funeral home.  In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to OSU Extension Office, 39 Wall St., Jefferson, OH  44047, memo line: 4-H Nancy Bregar to support 4-H sewing groups.   The Fleming & Billman Funeral Homes and staff are honored to serve the Nancy Bregar family.  Express condolences, view obituary or light a candle at

Donations may be made to:

OSU Extension Office
39 Wall St., Jefferson OH 44047

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