In Memory

Nancy Dodson

Nancy Dodson

Nancy lost her courageous battle with liver disease on February 10, 2016.  Her loved ones and friends celebrated her life on February 18, 2016 at Sacred Heart Church in Coronado.


Nancy M. Dodson

From the Coronado Eagle Thursday, May 26, 2016

Posted: Thursday, May 26, 2016 2:18 pm

Nancy Madeline Dodson was a long time resident of Coronado that graciously beat cancer but later succumbed to the effects of the treatments that were designed to keep her alive.

Nancy was born during one of the severest winter storms to hit the east coast in 1948. Her mother went into labor while at home with her infant sister Cindy and sister Susy, a kindergartener. Her mother was too afraid to travel to the hospital so gave birth to Nancy at home with little Susy by her side. Her father was a Navy officer on deployment at the time.

Nancy’s family came to Coronado in 1956. Nancy attended grade school, middle school and high school in Coronado. She loved people and was able to strike up a conversation with anyone. She was a career flight attendant and worked with three airlines: Continental, America West and American during a 40 year span. She also dabbled in sales and adult etiquette training during her time off. She was a graduate of The Protocol School of Washington, D.C.

Nancy graduated with the class of 1966 at Coronado High. She had an amazing ability to gather and remember details of her classmates’ lives. Over the years, many of her classmates depended on her to keep them up to date way before Facebook made it easier. This July would have been her 50th class reunion.

Concert in the Park was a Sunday must during the summer months. She loved the bands, the fellowship, and the purple jacaranda trees in bloom. She also enjoyed playing bridge at the senior center and riding her Hello Kitty bicycle all over town.

Family was extremely important to her and she visited and phoned her sisters and brother often. During her illness her sisters and brother were frequently flying to Coronado to help her. They were by her side during her final days of life. Many of her friends came to Coronado Hospital to kiss her goodbye, too.

Many animals were lucky to have Nancy as their human mother. She raised cocker spaniels in her younger years and later adopted a cat “Friday” from a dying friend. When Friday died, she was so lonely that she adopted “Katy Girl,” a small Himalayan kitty that had been surrendered to PAWS. When Nancy knew her time was near, she went to great lengths to find Katy Girl a loving home.

A memorial for Nancy was held on Feb 18 at Coronado Sacred Heart Church. She is survived by her sisters Susy Little and Penny Price, both of Pensacola, Fl., her brother, Rob Dodson of Huntsville, Al; three nieces, three nephews; and three grandnieces and three grandnephews, who affectionately called her Nini. Nancy was predeceased by her parents and her sister, Cindy Fillman, a CHS graduate of class of 1965.

Nancy’s spirit continues through the memories we share and the lives she impacted during her all too brief time on Earth.


Jim Zumwalt, classmate and one of Nancy's long-time good friends has shared the following, which is published on The Blaze website at:

The Need for Life’s Human Touch at Death’s Door

Feb. 23, 2016 9:26am  Jim Zumwalt

 Life’s journey gives rise to certain human needs.

 One overpowering need, ironically, comes at that journey’s end. It is the need of those at death’s door to have the comfort of another human’s presence or touch.

 A recent revelation raises a fascinating question: Does this need for human touch so dominate our psyche that it exists before one who is dying is even born?

 While this question may seem illogical, it will be put into logical context. But, first, some background on what led to my interest in the question.

 Life’s journey takes us through high school where we start focusing on more mature relationships influencing us throughout the journey.

It becomes a bonding opportunity. Normally, we seek out classmates similarly minded in their pursuits and interests. How strong that bond becomes is measured by time. Years later, upon hearing a classmate’s name, does it bring a smile to one’s face or scrambling for the yearbook to look up.

 With my upcoming 50th Coronado, California High School reunion this summer, I began recalling names that brought smiles to my face. One of those was Nancy.

 The one word describing Nancy is “bubbly.” She lit up any room she entered with her beaming smile and personality. No one remained a stranger to her.

 After high school, Nancy was married briefly, divorcing after discovering her husband was not Mr. Right. She became a flight attendant and our paths crossed again in the early 1990s. Working out of Dulles Airport in Northern Virginia where I was living and owned a townhome, Nancy became a tenant for about two years.

 I discovered, even two decades after graduation, Nancy retained her bubbly personality. While her job gave her ample opportunity to share it with others, she remained frustrated in still not having found Mr. Right.

 I always sensed Nancy’s particular search for Mr. Right was much like the search for the Yeti—i.e., legend says he exists but he has yet to be found. I also sensed the search was taking a toll on her. Only much later would I learn what that toll was.

 As Nancy’s job caused her to relocate, we parted ways, occasionally talking by phone. But as both of us pursued other interests, the contacts stopped about 15 years ago.

I had subsequently heard she had retired due to medical issues and moved back to Coronado. I tried to reach out to her at one point but failed to get a return call. I would later learn this happened to others as well.

 When I recently received an email notifying me my high school class was planning a 50th reunion, I registered on the website. Reviewing the “In Memory” page, I was saddened to see names I recognized, but happy not to see Nancy’s.

 Another name bringing a smile to my face was Bryan. He and I had been very close in high school. Both of us had joined the military, where our paths had occasionally crossed. Not having spoken to Bryan for several years I called to catch up on things.

 After spending more than an hour on the phone with him, when I hung up, I realized I had failed to ask Bryan about Nancy. For some reason the thought gnawed at me. But the following week, before I could call him back, he called me with some sad news. Nancy had just died.

 Bryan told me over the past several months, he had spent time with Nancy, who was suffering from liver issues—caused by heavy drinking. He had driven her to medical appointments and other activities. He said in her final days, she looked much older than her 68 years.

 When Nancy’s health took a turn for the worst and she was hospitalized, Bryan and several other local classmates took turns keeping vigil over her, even though she had slipped into a coma. They advised her family they might want to fly out as the end seemed near.

 Miraculously, Nancy came out of the coma—excited to see Bryan and others in her room.

 Although tubes in her mouth made communication difficult, Nancy motioned for Bryan to give her a kiss. I recalled Nancy once telling me she envisioned her Mr. Right being someone like Bryan. Even on her deathbed, her thoughts still focused on Mr. Right!

 But coming out of a coma temporarily was Nancy’s last hurrah with family and friends. Realizing fighting death now was fruitless, she requested life-support efforts be terminated—and quickly passed.

 Nancy’s death still lingers on my mind. There is sadness I was never able to reconnect with her, to offer her an occasional supportive phone call to help her through her last of life’s battles.

 There was sadness too I was not physically present to provide that all-important and comforting human touch. Despite the absence of a husband and children to support the end of her life’s journey, Nancy’s high school friends were there for her.

This brings us back to my initial question about one’s dying need for human touch occurring even before one’s birth—and a fascinating discovery seeming to support it.

 A mother, pregnant with twins—a brother and sister—received devastating news the brother is likely to die in the womb. He lingers on with a hole in his heart and undeveloped brain. But a recent sonogram of the twins has gone viral—showing the dying brother holding his sister’s hand.

 Apparently, even an unborn child, who undoubtedly will not live to see the light of day, has a need to reach out for human comfort as death approaches.

 Nancy’s name will always bring a smile to my face. I know, with time, the sadness of my not having been there for her as she fought death will give way to joy. It will be the joy of knowing Bryan and others were there, in my stead, providing that desperately needed human touch and compassion to a dying classmate and beloved friend.


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02/17/16 09:20 AM #4    

Don Larson

Sorry to hear.  She was a pistol wasn't she.   I enjoyed listening to her talk about her life, the few times I saw her after high school.   

02/17/16 09:37 AM #5    

Art Battson

You too, Nancy.


02/17/16 09:39 AM #6    

Art Battson

We'll miss you.

02/17/16 04:02 PM #7    

Donald Hale

Goodbye, Nancy, I won't forget our visits at the Coronado concerts in the park!

02/17/16 04:50 PM #8    

Jeff Grant

Dear Nancy. What a kick. Your were my first real high school date, freshman or sophomore year. A movie date at the Orange Avenue theater and you rewarded me with my first kiss, even after all the jujubees and licorice whips. rest in peace.


02/17/16 05:53 PM #9    

Teddi DiAngelo (Reilly)

Remembering Nancy as the reunion cheerleader.  She loved getting everyone together at each class reunion and enjoyed reaching out to classmates and getting all the latest "news"

06/10/16 10:30 AM #10    

Rick Parente

I knew Nancy before and during high school.  She was always very positive, friendly, pleasant and upbeat.  I remember at the 40th reunion she said to me to be sure to come to all the reunions thereafter because "some of us might not be around much longer and these might be our last chance to see one another."  I guess she was right.  I am glad to have had the opportunity to have seen her that last time.  

06/13/16 03:20 PM #11    

Joanie Campbell (Patton)

Nancy always claimed credit for Pat and I getting together and rightfully so!  She knew we had re-met at the all school reunion and then invited him to our 25th reunion party.  The rest is history ❤️ Thank you Nancy. You will be missed at our 50th!


06/14/16 03:12 AM #12    

Chris Clapper (Babich)

I remember Nancy. Since I was at Coronado for only my senior year I didn't have much time to know people. Nancy stands out as being extremely kind to me. It meant a lot to me then and still remains a vivid memory forever.

06/14/16 01:33 PM #13    

Julie Harris (Corn)

Whenever I think of Nancy it puts a smile on my face!!!  She loved everybody from our class of '66 and was always so glad to see us.  Nancy was a shaker and mover, but most of all a matchmaker for many.  I always liked seeing Nancy, she was such a lady, remembered what made you tick, and shared her life experiences.  She stayed active throughout her life and in the most recent years played bridge almost everyday. 

I will miss Nancy at our upcoming 50th REUNION, but somehow I feel she will be watching over the whole affair!!!


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