Nancy Marguerite Patterson Shoup
January 5, 1946 – January 6, 2019
IN MEMORIAM – A LIFE WELL-LIVED
Nancy was born in Orange, California to the Army family of John and Marguerite Patterson preceded by Suzanne and followed by Linda, John, Michael, and James. Typically, the family moved around the country as well as overseas to Germany and Japan. This experience instilled within her an ability to adapt to change and manage adversity with strength and grace. As a teen Nancy played softball and tennis, perhaps the early expression of her competitive nature and desire to excel in academics. Her collegiate path led to the University of Maryland College Park where she earned a BS degree in Nursing in 1968. It was the beginning of a life-long career of caring, compassion, and service to others in a myriad of roles.
She met and subsequently married her first love, Lawrence E. Lilly. Larry entered the Army to attend Officer Candidate School, Fort Benning, Georgia where their daughter, Carolyn Marie, was born in February 1969. Larry and I bonded as friends vowing to look after each other’s family, if need be. Nancy doted on their little girl while Larry awaited assignment to Rotary Wing Flight School at Fort. Wolters, Texas followed by advanced training in Huey helicopters at Fort Rucker, Alabama. While there a fellow officer’s little boy became gravely ill. He developed a dangerously high temperature. Nancy’s quick reaction to get him into a tub of ice water very likely saved his life.
In 1971 Larry was shot down in Vietnam and confirmed KIA. Nancy and I comforted and consoled one another over the following year, fell in love, and married November 4, 1972. Shortly after we left the Army to pursue graduate degrees at the University of Florida. Nancy excelled in achieving an MS in Nursing Education. She was inducted into two honor societies: Phi Beta Kappa for academics and Sigma Theta Tau for nursing excellence. As a result she was offered a position with a program to train foreign nurses to acquire Nursing Board Certification. She did so until I completed my degree.
We moved to Martinez, California bought a home, and welcomed two daughters: Allison Christine (2/18/76) and Jennifer Kathleen (12/5/77). Nancy spent a few years busy with the girls until we moved to southern California. She returned to work at a local hospital on a medical floor. Later, she found a position as a school nurse and thrived on the joy of dealing with grade school children; relating hilarious stories of “kids being kids”.
In the fall of 1981 we returned to northern California. For years Nancy worked as a Director of Nursing at a nursing home. She was an unwavering advocate for her elderly residents. Additionally, her hiring and retention of qualified and caring staff was a hallmark of her reputation. Long hours motivated her to seek a more stable position with the County Public Health Department. Nancy headed a program for prenatal health of low income unwed mothers. Even though traveling county-wide she managed to get our girls to school and Montessori. After cut-backs in PH programs she decided to take a break from nursing.
Nancy always enjoyed cooking and baking; collecting cookbooks like kids once did baseball cards. Holidays and events meant special meals. Christmas cookies and fudge were prepared with our girls and later with grandchildren. A family tradition was begun when the kids were very young. We headed to Apple Hill in the Sierras for apple picking. Each fall we would make the trek for snacking on all treats such as caramel apples, donuts, and pies then return with lots of apples to make apple sauce.
Her break entailed working at a deli in Walnut Creek. She decided she liked it well enough to purchase the business. For 12 years the family assisted her efforts with the deli where all three girls learned the value of work, management, financial responsibility, and public relations. In October 1983 the 6.9 Loma Prieta earthquake devastated Oakland. Nancy contacted fellow businesses and organized the preparation of brown bag lunches. Daily these were marshalled from shops in neighboring cities and transported to the Red Cross in Oakland for distribution to first responders and rescuers working in the midst of the destruction.
The fall of 1998 found us on the move once again; destination West Virginia. Nancy settled into working part-time in nursing homes and a religious Brothers retirement community. Geriatric nursing was a recurring calling that Nancy answered. She believed that the elderly deserved respect, honor, and care. Eventually, she found her true passion at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center. There she developed and led programs to insure that veterans were monitored and properly treated at elder daycare facilities and nursing homes in a three state region. She and her team traveled far and wide while also coordinating with spouses and families to oversee all aspects of veterans’ care. She delighted in the success of her programs and the comradery of her co-workers until retiring at the end of 2010. By 2012 neurological symptoms resulted in the determination that Nancy had a rare brain disease called MSA (Multiple System Atrophy).
Nancy was loving, caring, compassionate, and loyal to name just a few attributes. Her memory was a steel trap; never failing to recall a birthday or acknowledge someone’s kindness. Nancy never met a stranger without engaging in their life and gaining a new friend. Everyone she knew was drawn to her; charmed by her innate goodness and honest interest in their lives. She was a rabid fan of college basketball, especially UConn, Duke, Notre Dame, and March Madness. Nancy loved going to movies ranging from action to tear-jerkers and never missed a Hallmark movie. She was an avid reader of historical novels and books by religious authors. Daily devotionals were always at hand. Above all Nancy was a devoted wife and mother. Our three daughters have been the light of her life. She delighted in seeing their growth, watching them compete in various sports, and sharing family outings, especially in the mountains. Reliance on big sister Carolyn’s help was a blessing and a concern for her; always thankful to have it. With the girls’ maturity she worried about being a good parent. No need. They all found their individual paths and completed their education. Nancy was jubilant to see them each married to loving and caring men. It made her very proud to acknowledge how well our sons-in-law have provided for and built loving families of their own. Each of our eleven grandchildren have been rays of sunshine for Nancy. Her love for them is boundless. She will be missed by everyone who knew and loved her.
Nancy is survived by her loving husband of 46 years, John Shoup, and daughters’ families: Carolyn and Jon Auman (Grant, Michaela); Allison and Jason Tobias (Dylan, Danielle); Jennifer and Ryan Ruff (Isabelle, Kiley, Ethan, Cody, Andrew, Luke, Hunter).
No services will be held as Nancy will one day join her husband at Arlington National Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to email@example.com. In lieu of flowers the family would appreciate donations being sent to: THE MULTIPLE SYSTEM ATROPHY (MSA) COALITION 9935-D Rea Road #212, Charlotte, NC 28277