Obituary for My Mother, Ann Marie (Nancy) Stoppleworth

Ann Marie (Nancy) Stoppleworth passed away on July 22, 2011 in Providence, RI. She was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, on August 3, 1925, the oldest daughter of Mary and William Dwyer. Nancy was a graduate of Saint Francis Nursing School for her RN, Georgetown University for her Bachelors degree in Nursing, and The University of Connecticut for her Masters degree in Anthropology. She joined the convent twice as a young woman before choosing to live the secular life. She married Leland J. Stoppleworth on July 5, 1958, and was the mother of seven children.

Nancy led a successful career as a nurse and nursing administrator, serving as a nurse in many hospitals, visiting nursing services, and finally as the Chief of Nursing for the State of Connecticut Mental Health Services. Nancy was a devout lifelong Catholic who carried out the church’s mission of charity in myriad ways including serving the homeless in soup kitchens and shelters, caring for poor families in the community, participating in prayer groups and prayer lines for the sick, traveling to Haiti for charitable mission work, and establishing charitable annuities for medical and educational purposes with Maryknoll Sisters and Salesian missions.

In 2004, Nancy donated 55 acres of land to the town of Tolland, Connecticut in order to create the Stoppleworth Conservation area, a pristine and beautiful open space for all to enjoy. Nancy was a lifelong journal-writer, who left behind scores of honest and brave reflections on her many life dilemmas, successes, and concerns. She loved reading and knowledge, swimming in Bolton Lake, going to the beach, and spending time with her children and grandchildren.

She is survived by two sisters, Helen Stephenson and Lyn Jacoby, who reside in California, and six of her seven children: Laura Reave and husband Robert Reave of London, Ontario; Amalia Delorenzo of Guerneville, California; Anne Weber and husband Garry Weber of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Maria Dugan and husband Douglas Dugan of Brooklyn, New York; John Stoppleworth and wife Janice Kloo of Manchester, Connecticut; and Kiersten Marek and husband Kevin Marek of Cranston, Rhode Island. Her youngest child, Angela, died in childhood due to a muscular disease. She is also survived by grandchildren Melanie Reave; Seth Martel; Bryan, Paul, and Charles Weber; Elena, Avra, Isaiah and Patrick Dugan; and Katrina and Kalliana Marek.

Services for Nancy will take place at Church of the Ascension, 390 Pontiac Avenue, Cranston at 10 am on Wednesday, July 27, with reception to follow. Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Maryknoll Sisters, P.O. Box 311, Maryknoll NY 10545.

Calling Hours will be from 6 – 8 PM at our home at 109 Waterman Avenue on Tuesday evening. Please send an email to me if you are planning to come.

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20 responses

  1. What a story of a life well-lived, and what a gift to pass on such an example. We send our sincerest sympathy.

    1. Kiersten Marek | Reply

      Thank you, Nancy. Your support is greatly appreciated.

  2. Kiersten, it’s clear that she shared her love of reading, writing and learning with you, and she will not be forgotten. Lovely obituary; it’s an eloquent summation of a long, rich, thoughtful and complex life.

  3. Kiersten Marek | Reply

    Thanks Kathryn and Nancy. She is in my heart very strong now which is good for the grieving process.

  4. Kiersten Marek | Reply

    Also, for those who might not have seen the addition above, calling hours will be on Tuesday evening at our house from 6-8 pm.

  5. Dear Kierston and family

    What a fabulous life your Mother lead. She sounds a lovely person.

    Our condolences to you all.

    Don and Caroline Bowen

    1. Kiersten Marek | Reply

      Thank you Don and Caroline!

  6. Kiesten,

    We’re very sorry for your loss and send our profound condolences to you and your family. What a terrific life she lived. You and your family must be proud of the many contributions she made to others through her service to whatever community she visited. That is a great legacy for her to leave to the family, providing an example and inspiration for others to follow.

    Again, you all have our sympathy.

    Geoff and Kathy Schoos

    1. Kiersten Marek | Reply

      Thank you Geoff and Kathy! Your words are appreciated. My mom was truly one in a million!

  7. Donald Wolberg | Reply

    A life to be envied; a parent to be remembered.

    All the best from New Mexico

    1. Kiersten Marek | Reply

      Thank you Donald!

  8. My dear friend Kiersten,

    Please let me add my sincerest condolences. Words seem so inadequate on such a sad occasion, like a scrap of cloth too meager to shield you from the chill of grief. But, perhaps, as friends and family chime in with their condolences, one scrap will link to another and form a quilt which will provide you with some warmth and comfort during this difficult time. My heart goes out to you and your family.

    Peace,
    David

    1. Kiersten Marek | Reply

      Thank you, David. Your friendship and support in this time is greatly appreciated.

  9. Condolences on your loss.
    It sounds like she had a full life and a long one.
    Joe

    1. Kiersten Marek | Reply

      Thank you, Joe. Best wishes.

  10. So sorry to hear of your loss. My sincere condolences.
    I will stop by this evening.

    1. Kiersten Marek | Reply

      Thank you, Mike. It was so generous of you to stop by and also thank you so much for your donation to Maryknoll!

  11. My condolences. Your mother was the sweet soft spoken person who always greeted me with a smile.
    My sympathy.
    Sandra Weigle Larson

    1. Kiersten Marek | Reply

      Thank you, Sandra. My mother always liked you and I am grateful for your friendship when we were younger.

  12. She was unafraid, hard-working and lucky. What a blessed life.

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