Madison, Wisconsin After 97 years of a rich and full life, on July 5, 2023, Nancy Alice (Loomis) O’Neill fulfilled her life journey in peace with her loving family around her. Nancy was born on August 12, 1925 in Hot Springs, South Dakota. Shortly after, her family moved to Saylesville, Wisconsin, where Nancy attended a one room schoolhouse. She graduated Waukesha High School in 1943 and completed her BA at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio. At Antioch Nancy met and married John Francis O’Neill II, who became her beloved husband and life partner until his passing in 2000. Together they had 5 children: John (Mimi), Kenneth (Joan Lerman), Charles (Michealanne), Judith (Paul) Kurzynowski, and Richard.
Early childhood education was one of her great loves. Nancy dedicated her career to helping those who are least among us. Nancy worked with economically disadvantaged students in Milwaukee, Fresno, and Wellpinit, WA. John and Nancy settled in Cheney, Washington, in 1974 where John was the founding Dean of the Inland Empire School of Social Work. During these years their children began families of their own. Nancy relished her time as grandmother to Noor, Kamila, Aaron, Ben, Josh, and Jason and great grandmother to Jonathan, Oliver, Donovan, Lucy, Nurbek, Noah, Blake, Jacob, Sophie, Aidan, and Arianna.
In retirement, they began a new life that included several longer stays in Ireland where they reunited with Irish relatives. Nancy and John finally settled in Madison in 1993 and became involved as volunteers at Wisconsin Public Television and internationally with Global Volunteers taking extended trips to Australia, Romania, Indonesia, Ireland, and Poland. Nancy appreciated this opportunity to serve disadvantaged communities. She also dedicated herself to her growing and far-flung family with frequent visits and reunions around the US. Nancy was a dedicated walker and swimmer and enjoyed doing half marathon walks well into her 80's. Her deepest calling was to support her family. Nancy’s love for family and indomitable life energy have touched and moved those close to her. Nancy had an outgoing personality, friendships around the world, and her smile could light up the room. She loved reading and continued her swimming until the end. We will all miss her presence in our lives.
A special thank you to Nikki with Agrace Hospice and all her friends at Sauk Gardens and swimming friends. A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, July 9, 2023, from 12:00-2:00PM in the community room at Sauk Gardens 8501 Old Sauk Rd. Middleton. Memorial donations may be made to the John and Nancy O’Neill Scholarship Fund, Eastern Washington University, 102 Hargreaves Hall, 616 Study La. Cheney WA 99004-2413 www.ewu.edu/SupportEWU or Porchlight www.Porchlightinc.org
“We are all with you in spirit as you are also with us. Farewell, Nancy, and fare-well”