Nancy Davis Pratviel

October 8, 1937March 29, 2014

Nancy Davis Pratviel, October 8, 1937-March 29. 2014

Nancy Davis Pratviel died Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the Davis Family homestead in Norwich, CT. at the age of 76. She was born to John M. Davis, Sr. and Alice B. Davis in Norwich, CT on October 8, 1937. She is survived by her only child, Mary Alice Pratviel Bailey and Mary Alice’s husband Donald Ray Bailey, of Marshall, Texas as well as her remaining brothers, John M. Davis Jr. of Preston, CT, Andrew G. Davis, Sr. of Sterling, CT and David T. Davis of Norwich, CT and a large community of family and friends. Her husband, Emile Prativel, died in 1972. Nancy Pratviel’s life was defined by service to others, both at home and abroad. After graduating from the Backus School of Nursing in 1958 she earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Vermont, before beginning her nursing career at Backus Hospital, a place to which she would return. But no matter where she was in her professional or personal life, the emphasis of her life was on helping others. In 1963, she joined Care Medico, assigned to Viet Nam, but the village was bombed before she could report for service, and she was redirected to Tunisia, which changed not only her mission but her life as it was in Africa that she met her husband, Emile. After Nancy’s time with Care Medico, she and Emile travelled northwest Africa under the guidance of the Missionaries of Africa. With the mission’s support and direction, the couple provided medicines and help digging wells as well as photographing and documenting the lives of tribal Africans. Their work caught the attention of Jacques Cousteau, who based on their stories and photography, created a documentary of a fishing village in Mauritania. After a decade, Nancy and Emile returned to the United States and shortly thereafter, Emile died. For the remainder of her life, Nancy continued to raise funds in the US to send back to the tribal villages and to speak and present slide shows about the areas where she and Emile had worked. Following a brief stint in hospital administration at Backus Hospital, Nancy began working with Norwich Neurosurgeon Dr. Mario Sculco. For the next thirty three years she assisted him in surgery and was referred to as his right hand, caring for neurosurgical patients in southeastern CT. After retirement, Nancy continued her nursing career at the Norwich Senior Center, where she worked until this past July when her health no longer permitted. In her personal time, Nancy could often be found answering the phone and the door, providing medical counseling and treatment to the numerous family, friends and their loved ones who sought her out. It is hard to measure the effect that one person’s life may have, or the number of people whose lives were made better for having known Nancy Pratviel. A committal service will be held on Monday April 7th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Maplewood Cemetery, 184 Salem Turnpike, Norwich, CT followed by a celebration of life from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Rose Hill Senior Center, 8 Mahan Drive, Norwich. CT. Please visit to leave an online condolence for the Pratviel family.


  • Graveside Service Monday, April 7, 2014
  • Celebration of Life Monday, April 7, 2014

Nancy Davis Pratviel

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michael curran

April 17, 2014

I just heard of your mom passing away, so sorry. I remember her well. seems like only yesterday Emile caught Philip and I stealing and eating his straw berries, he was some mad yelling at us in french.Or the time that little monkey latched on and bit me on my leg.

April 10, 2014

my sincere condolences at your loss of your mom. Your mom will not be forgotten, Please keep in touch.
As ever, Aunt Joan Davis-Guma

April 7, 2014

I am so sorry to hear about your Mom You know you have my deepest sympathies
Love Charley

April 6, 2014

Mary Alice so sorry to hear about your Mom. Joan Crouch and Lyle jr.

The Holmbergs

April 6, 2014

Dear Mary Alice and Family,
We are so sorry to hear this news. Nancy was a strong woman with a good heart and she will be missed.

With sympathy and sadness,

Jason Gooden

April 6, 2014

Mary Alice,

I am truly sorry to hear about the passing of your mother. She was wonderful person and great friend to both my Grandmother and my Mother. I can still remember the times we used to visit the farm when we were kids, or take a ride in the VW bus to go to the movies. What I truly remember is how supportive your mom was when my mother and father both fell ill. She was a true friend and was always there for me and my entire family, for that, I am very happy to have all of these very fond memories of her. She was truly and inspirational person.

April 4, 2014

Mary Alice, My deepest sympathy to you and your family. I am glad I had the opportunity to meet you last year with Florence Busby. Your mom was a very dedicated nurse and she will be missed. Sue Finkelstein

Mike Wolak

April 3, 2014

Nancy was such a wonderful nurse at the Rose City Senior Center for a good many years. Her devotion and compassion were second to none. She will forever be remembered and missed.

Kim (Cormier) Charron

April 3, 2014

Mary Alice - your mother was a wonderful person. I was one of Dr. Sculco's patients for many years and your mother was so nice to my family. She definitely kept Dr. Sculco in line.

Donna Crandall

April 3, 2014

I was saddened to hear of Nancy's passing. I was a patient of Dr. Sculco's for years and together they made one great team! Nancy was so very kind and compassionate and always went above and beyond for her patients. I respected her deeply and came to care for her very much. So very sorry for your loss.