Niagara Gazette

Columns

September 5, 2013

DELUCA: Songs sung in her name

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — “I don’t think I can think of anyone who has had a broader touch on this hospital,” said Patty Berggren, retired vice president of the hospital’s foundation and community relations, who worked with Nancy when she was on the foundation board in the early years of their careers. Even after Nancy left, when the board was dissolved and merged into the hospital’s board, “she was always a fundraiser for us,” Berggren said.

Whether as a mom, grandmother, banker, mentor or volunteer for a long list of local organizations, Nancy rose above the ranks with an investment of passion and energy, according to Judy Nolan Powell, who worked at Marine Midland and HSBC as a bank vice president with Nancy, and who recently became a hospital board member alongside Nancy. “She brought excellence to everything she did, without fanfare, without attitude.”

There are images of Nancy that her friends shared which I hold in my head, including how they laughingly described how she could go into her kitchen to make a great meal dressed in her best clothes, without getting a spot on herself or a hair out of place.

At the end of her career, Nancy returned to her hometown of Niagara Falls, as branch manager for the First Niagara on Main Street. Judy, now retired, told me about going into that bank shortly after Nancy’s death, when she was stopped by a man, who asked the identity of the bank officer that died. When told that it was Nancy, he remarked sadly, “I’m the cleaning man here ... she was wonderful.” The former president of Marine’s U.S. operations, Malcolm Burnett, was also moved by her death, and said so in a beautiful handwritten sympathy letter to Nancy’s family, mailed from his home in Britain. Her friends say she touched everyone, from clients large and small to the many bank employees she mentored.

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