Beloved wife, mother, retired nurse, and crossword puzzle extraordinaire, Mary Elizabeth Clancy, better known as Betty, Marybeth, or Nana, passed away May 27, 2021, surrounded by family in her Fort Walton Beach home. She was born May 16th, 1930 and had just celebrated her 91st birthday surrounded by family, friends, and pink champagne, pink being her favorite color.
She is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Cyril John Clancy, six children, Aileen Elizabeth; Maureen Laura; Sean Cyril; Colleen Maura; Michael Raymond; and Noreen Brigid. Grandchildren Erin Ruess Federle (Alejandro), Cahlin Ruess, Taryn Ruess, Owen Ruess, Roger Ruess, Cyril John Ruess, Kyle Clancy, Brigid Clancy Johnson (Andrew), Gabriella Collins, Alejandro Collins, Ian Collins, MacCuillinn Clancy, Micheleen Clancy, Logan Hoskins, and Grace Carter. Great grandchildren Lyla Federle, Brynn Federle, and Theodore Hartrick.
Preceded in death by her parents Raymond John and Laura Barnes Manning, sister, Maureen Manning Hanley, and daughter Micheleen Teresa Clancy. Sadly, Micheleen 01/1964, passed at 1 1/2 years old due to a heart condition but she has never been forgotten.
Nana, as everyone called her these last years, was born in St. John’s Newfoundland: a beautiful, rugged island off the east coast of Canada. She grew up watching icebergs drift by in Placentia Bay and enjoying locally harvested seal stew. A true Canadian, Nana brought her beloved ice skates with her when she moved to Florida in 1957 after marrying a handsome, young airman named Cyril John Clancy.
Her mother, Laura Barnes, for whom her daughter Lauren was named after, was petite in stature but just as big-hearted as Nana herself. A proper lady, as was her daughter, Laura Barnes never left the house without stockings and gloves, even when she visited the family in Florida. Although she always knew which fork was correct for every dish, she formed an unlikely bond with the ex-street dog turned family pet Clay. The two would take their afternoon constitutionals together until they got lost one day and had to return home by taxicab!
Her father, Raymond Manning, for whom her son Michael Raymond was named, was the Deputy Minister of Public Works which gave him the opportunity to represent Canada abroad. Being the devout Catholic she was all her life, one of her greatest memories is when her Mom and Dad, Raymond and Laura went to meet the Pope Venerable Pius XII in the Vatican in Rome, Italy. He also met Queen Elizabeth II in London, England.
Nana had one sister, Maureen who married and spent her life in Montreal, and although it was not common at that time, Raymond Manning insisted both his daughters get an education beyond high school. Both became nurses. Nana attended St. Vincent’s School of Nursing, in New York City and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 1950.
Nana had exciting stories of her time as a nurse in Newfoundland. She was a Public Health nurse and visited the small fishing villages located on the tiny barrier islands surrounding St. John’s. She would travel from island to island by boat, sea plane and dog sled with a doctor; often, she would make these trips on her own. On these isolated islands they would set up their clinic in a church or the local school, trying to stop the spread of disease through vaccines, delivering babies, extracting teeth and performing minor surgeries under rudimentary conditions. While the medical services she was able to provide was limited, she often saw the hand of God save peoples lives on those remote islands.
While back in St. John’s recovering from tuberculosis that she contracted from a patient, Nana met Cyril John Clancy from Feahoe, County Monahan, Ireland. He was serving in the air force at Pepperell Air Force Base just outside St. John’s, after a tour at Thule Air Force Base in Greenland. They were married on a cold January day in 1957 and honeymooned as they drove down to Eglin Air Force Base for his next assignment.
They were blessed with seven children, Aileen Elizabeth; Maureen Laura; Sean Cyril; Colleen Maura; twins Michael Raymond and Micheleen Teresa; and Noreen Brigid.
Nana worked for the Ft. Walton Beach hospital, earning the Director of Nurses position. In this position she oversaw the conversion of the hospital into a nursing home until she retired in 1997. Always energetic, both physically and mentally, she returned to her roots and in retirement continued serving others as a volunteer Public Health nurse with the Council on Aging for Okaloosa County. She also help found a free clinic, OMAC, Okaloosa Medical Access Clinic.
Very proud of her Celtic Canadian roots, with her husband and other Irish locals founded the Celtic Circle to celebrate the Irish traditions. She also participated in the local Pilot Club, a service organization that provided access for the handicapped and scholarships.
Nana and Pop thoroughly enjoyed their motorhome in their retirement. They traveled extensively throughout the U.S., visited friends in Newfoundland, and adventured to Mexico and Brazil to visit their daughter Colleen. They also made annual pilgrimages back to Ireland to visit the family farm on which Cyril was raised, staying with his cousin Michael and Marie Hoey and visiting extended family. One of their favorite trips was a Mediterranean cruise with daughters Noreen and Lauren, Cyril’s sister Renee, sister-in-law Dorothy, and dear friend Gwen Hansen. During their travels they never missed an opportunity to renew an old acquaintance, make a new one, or spoil one of their 15 grandchildren.
Her final years were spent in the family home under the loving, watchful eye of her eldest Aileen. She enjoyed watching Pop try to out-trick the squirrels to keep them away from the bird feeder, following the Eagle cam or watching Sean’s dog Nixie jump into the bird bath with a stick twice her size in her mouth. She always made sure there were peanuts for the squirrels since they weren’t allowed to eat the bird feed and she always, always shared her dinner with her dear dog Darby O’Gill Clancy.
In lieu of flowers the family prefers donations be made to Tad Hartrick’s medical account at https://ww2.payerexpress.com/ebp/ABLEnow (account #701012021807, last name Hartrick). Tad is her 3 year old great grandson who was born with a heart condition which also afflicted her own daughter, Micheleen, who passed away as an infant.
You may attend the funeral service via live stream on June 1, 2021 at 1pm CT. Please use the link below.
Reception immediately following the Graveside Service:
203 Brooks St SE
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548