Age 91, Luray, Va.
Nancy Lenora Van Pelt O’Brien, 91, of Luray, VA passed away on October 3, 2022 at Page Memorial Hospital. She was born in Sanford, N. C. on March 14, 1931, the daughter of the late Lois “Louise” Geneva
Van Pelt. Nancy’s life was distinguished by her development of lasting friendships.
On December 20, 1951, she married John Alvin “Jack” O’Brien, who preceded her in death on September 10, 2008.
Nancy was lovingly raised on a tobacco farm in North Carolina by her maternal grandparents, George Thomas and Alice Hurley Isgett. Her professional career began at the U. S. Department of the Navy in Washington, D. C. working with admirals. Upon Jack’s safe return from the Korean conflict, she devoted her time to raising her three children.
Nancy was truly the epitome of a talented homemaker. Using the skills she developed from her Southern upbringing, she began crafting. Due to the popularity of her unique creations she started her own company, Gingham Goose. She and Jack enjoyed displaying her wares at community craft festivals and art shows. Nancy’s collegiality with her colleagues and devoted clientele were reciprocated with respect
and loyal friendships throughout her life.
After her children matriculated, she served as an administrative assistant in the Luray High School guidance department and later office manager at Page Realty. Subsequent to Jack’s death, Nancy worked at Mama’s Treasures where her curious nature made everyone feel welcome in Luray. She additionally worked at American Greetings and religiously tested water quality for her neighbors in Old Farms Subdivision. Nancy was the anchor of the Old Farms Subdivision. She worked tirelessly for 89 years.
Many will remember Nancy as a loyal member of the “greatest generation.” She deferred gratification because she always thought of others before herself.
Beyond her love of family, she appreciated a good book, long rides enjoying the bucolic landscapes of the Shenandoah Valley, winter nights watching figure skating, politics, and had a healthy appreciation
for differing opinions. She was never far from a beautiful garden.
As a mother, Nancy took so much joy in her family that it was contagious and always charming. Her friends will always carry her wonderful spirit and youthful grace in their hearts. That is her love-print on everyone’s heart she touched.
Community service was an essential part of Nancy’s life. She enjoyed her volunteer work with the Luray Tree and Beautification Committee, the Luray Garden Club, the Luray Downtown Initiative, and her Friendship Circle.
Nancy’s survivors include: a daughter, Cathleen Lynn Riggs of Virginia Beach, VA, and sons, Gary Thomas O’Brien and wife Barbara of Harrisonburg, VA, and David Patrick O’Brien of Winchester, VA. Additional survivors are four grandchildren, Hannah McManaman and husband Shamus, of Virginia Beach, Shaleigh Owen and husband Edison, of Virginia Beach, Marshal Riggs, of Ventura, CA, and Madilyn O’Brien of Harrisonburg. She was also blessed with five great-children.
Her granddaughter, Tiffany Nicole Heatwole, preceded her in death in April 2007.
Friends and family will gather for her Celebration of Life at 2 p. m. on Saturday, October 8, 2022 at Beahm’s Chapel Cemetery Pavilion. Please feel free to bring a chair outside of the Pavilion. Additionally mourners may pay their respects by signing the condolence book at the Bradley Funeral Home.
To honor Nancy’s memory, the family requests memorial donations to made to the Page Public Library, P. O. Box 608, Luray, VA 22835.