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Nancy Duncanson McKenna


1924 - 2015 Obituary Condolences
McKenna, Nancy Duncanson (nee Helen Nancy) passed away November 2, 2015 after a long illness. Nancy was born August 28, 1924 in New York (Bronx), New York to Robert Joseph Duncanson and Julia Veronica O'Brien Duncanson. She grew up in the Bronx, graduating as valedictorian from St. Nicholas of Tolentine High School. Soon thereafter, the family moved to Crestwood, New York, and Nancy enrolled in the College of New Rochelle, where she was elected student body president her senior year. She graduated magna cum laude and as valedictorian in 1946. Nancy married John F. McKenna, Jr., (Jack), also of Crestwood in the fall of 1947. Their cross-country honeymoon brought them to their new home in Pasadena, California where they would live together until Jack's death in 2004. Nancy was a teacher at Assumption of the BVM School in Pasadena for 50 years, where she inspired generations of students with her love of U.S. history and English. She retired in 2007 at the age of 83. She was active in the Christ Child Society, Assistance League of Pasadena, PEO International, and the National Charity League. Nancy is survived by her three children, Sally Jeanne McKenna of Pasadena, Carol Nancy McKenna Hamilton of Palo Alto, California, John F. McKenna III of Albany, California, and her son-in-law, David Mike Hamilton; her seven grandchildren, Jennifer Barnum Thayer (Christopher) of Pasadena, Allison Barnum Klassen (Matthew) of Menlo Park, California, Sarah Barnum of Menlo Park, California, Elisabeth Hamilton of Brooklyn, New York, Caroline Hamilton of Palo Alto, California, Margaret McKenna of Albany, California; Edward McKenna of Albany, California; and her six great grandchildren, Matthew Thayer, Catherine Thayer, Zachary Thayer, Emmeline Thayer, Dylan Klassen, and Jake Klassen. She was predeceased by her husband and her daughter, Susan Elizabeth. Nancy is also survived by her sister, Mary Jeanne Brady, and her brother, Robert Joseph Duncanson, Jr., and many beloved nieces and nephews. Nancy's children wish to especially thank all of her wonderful caregivers at the Terraces at Park Marino and GrandCare Hospice in Pasadena. A celebration of Nancy's life will be held at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Pasadena on Friday, November 6, at 10:00am, followed by interment at Resurrection Cemetery in Rosemead. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the , the , or the . Cabot and Sons, Pasadena.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Nov. 5, 2015
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