Welcome to the memorial page for

Nancy Dworzak

June 27, 1937 ~ August 27, 2017 (age 80)

Born in Boston in 1937, Nancy grew up in Natick, Massachusetts.  An only child to John and Blanche Flannery, she had numerous close school friends and cousins with whom she remained close.  She was an RN graduate of St. Elizabeth’s Nursing School in 1957 and worked on and off as a nurse over the years. Living in the same Westminster home since 1964 she enjoyed many friendships with her good neighbors as well as friends from her various interests and work.  She and Marvin celebrated 54 years of marriage on August 17, 2017.

Nancy passed away surrounded by her family on August 27, 2017.

She is survived by her husband, Marvin, daughter Jody, son John, daughter-in-law Cindy and dog Lillie Mae, all of whom will miss her dearly.

How do you try to sum up a person’s life that’s actually bigger than the life itself?  That’s what you’ll face when you try to sit down and try to capture the essence of what made Nancy Flannery Dworzak’s life so very remarkable.

The welcome, but quintessential descriptions when it comes to Nancy Flannery Dworzak.  The problem is that Nancy wasn’t the sum of her roles in life:

  • A beautiful woman—inside and out.
  • A dear and kind friend with a tight knit group from school who still keep in touch today.
  • A wife
  • A beloved mother and mother-in law mother (considered Mom #2 for the daughter in-law).
  • A caring nurse and volunteer.
  • A huge dog lover (Lilly Mae in particular) & her grand-cats “Jumping Jack Flash & “Slippers” and her grand-dogs “Bingo” and “Albert”.  They always got Christmas gifts!
  • Very private person that didn’t want pity, and fought with determination and bravery.
  • Very thoughtful, always a kind word, perfect gift and card.  Meaning and significance before value.
  • An avid reader – there are hundreds of books in her home.
  • Loved going to the beach – just to sit in the car and watch the waves
  • Devout Angels and Red Sox fan.  She watched the Angels every night they were on.  John will miss discussing Mike Trout’s latest homerun or great catch with her.  A highlight in her life was when she met her idol, Ted Williams, and had him autograph the photo of him that had been framed above her bed.
  • Nancy was a very proud inaugural member of the Harvard Study of Nurse Health

Assigning these simple descriptors to Nancy does not do her memory the justice she deserves:

Curious & Excited: 

The little things brought her joy…sewing collectibles, teddy bears, beanie babies (for a time).  She loved going to Seal Beach so much she worked in the parking lot booth so she could spend more time there with sea life and the waves breaking.  She loved the Canada Geese flying over the Naval Reserve, and taking pictures of the sea birds at the Reserve.  (The MP often would follow her to find out what she was doing!)

Loving & Supportive & Caring; 

It was school for John & Jody, she took time off from nursing to support every endeavor they sought to pursue…she made it to every one of John’s little league baseball games, and high school games.  Also, she attended numerous choral performances of the Berkeley Community Chorus.  Later as adults, she worked “behind the-scenes when one of us needed help or ran into a little scrape along the way. Also enjoyed were wonderful dinners, the theatre, a vintage train ride, the horse races starring non-other than California Chrome.  She tried hard to teach, with the patience of a saint, Jody and Cindy to knit.  That made Jody and Cindy very happy, if not frustrated at times!


She always had and mailed the perfect cards for EVERY holiday.

Her daughter-in-law Cindy shared her passion for the importance of personal correspondence. The highest complement Cindy ever got from Nancy is she said, “You are the BEST thank-you note writer”.
She loved getting gifts with the most meaning/significance behind them especially woodworking and framed photos.  The value was unimportant.

What Nancy was famous for:

She loved crafts starting with knitting, then needle point and finally cross stitch. On occasion, she entered her pieces into the Orange County Fair.  After the sampler she made for John and Cindy’s wedding (1996), she’d had enough, but it turned out beautifully and has hung on their wall ever since.  There are many recipients of her craftwork, which we will hold dear.

Other amusing facts about Nancy:

  • In her high school yearbook, someone inscribed “Peppy, Popular & Pretty—That’s our Nance!
  • She taught John and Jody the proper use of “me” & “I” in a sentence. They’ve learned to stop correcting people, but they’re biding their time.
  • She wrote to the weather man, Fritz Coleman (NBC News) to ask for good weather for John & Cindy’s wedding which he read on the air.  It actually cooled down for one day and heated up the next!
  • She often wrote “Letters to the Editor” when she felt she had to correct something.
  • She sent pictures to the cartoon “Marmaduke” of Bingo re: lying and Ruby wrapping herself around Marv in his easy chair – they were published in the comic strip.
  • She didn’t enjoy cooking, but was a great baker…favorites were Cardamom Bread, Scotch Bars, & Ginger cookies.
  • She loved Dr. Seuss and wouldn’t have Christmas without watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”.
  • Coffee Ice Cream was an essential food group.
  • She loved to sneak out to The Fish Co. for dinner when Marvin was away fishing.
  • She was the sweetest person, and I don’t think there was a person she met that didn’t like her.
  • She loved holidays and traditions.
  • She “lost” some of John and Cindy’s wedding china for probably 10+ years in the closet and they didn’t get it until 2 years ago…better late than ever!
  • She loved taking photos, looking carefully and thoughtfully at the photos John would take when on his work trips and vacations.
  • Her favorite show, “Sunday Morning”, John will miss discussing with her, especially the “Moment of Nature” being too short!
  • Extremely Proud of her ½ Irish heritage.

From Cindy:

Nancy’s life revolved around people and the importance of maintaining of those relationships.  She was a very private person and would rather be the “helper” than the “helpee”.  Quick to chip in when she could.  It was a treat to let you help her.
She loved the simple life, life was about relationships and that was paramount to her.
Her biggest accomplishments are her children. She instilled in John to think about others “feelings” when talking about anything. She made John and Jody thoughtful human beings.

To Nancy from Cindy:

I would like to thank her and remember her most for sharing John while she was here. It was because of her that he is the most intelligent, talented, sensitive, loyal, supportive, caring, generous husband that a “girl-next-door” could ever ask for.  Because of her, we have been able to share the good with the bad for almost 25 years together. I promise you, I will care for him and share my mother and father with him as they do already treat him like a son.

Mother, we are going to miss you so much!!!

 Service Information

August 31, 2017

6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Heritage Memorial Services
17712 Beach Blvd.
Huntington Beach, CA 92647

Funeral Mass
September 1, 2017

10:30 AM to 11:30 AM
St. Anne's Catholic Church
340 10th Street
Seal Beach, CA 90740


Good Shepherd Cemetery
8301 Talbert Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

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