Nancy Dearr
Stanfill Funeral Homes
10545 South Dixie Hwy.
Miami, FL
DEARR, NANCY RUSSELL, 62, longtime Miami resident, died peacefully in her sleep on August 26. Born in Atlanta, GA on 12/07/1952 to James W. Russell and Jean Buck Russell, and raised in Miami, Nancy graduated from Southwest High School and later attended FSU and Hunter College in New York. She met her husband in 1972 during the McGovern for President campaign and early in her career worked in advertising and public relations, but her true calling was as a wife and mother serving as a parent leader in many capacities during her children's school years. She is survived by her husband of 42 years Ryan Dearr, her son Taylor and daughter Siobhan, her sister Eileen Russell (Paul Goure) of Atlanta, and her "sister" Janet Powell. Funeral Services will be at 12:30 pm, Monday, August 31 at Stanfill Funeral Home 10545 S. Dixie Hwy, Miami. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign.
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Published by the Miami Herald on Aug. 28, 2015.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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15 Entries
Mine is a belated entry in the guest book honoring my beloved only sibling, my older sister Nancy. I want to thank all who've been kind enough to express their memories of Nancy, her many wonderful and unique qualities. It's comforting to hear echos from so many people who knew her, either longtime friends or recently "acquired" ones on Facebook. My sister was never at a loss for friends, words, opinions, causes to support or callings to be met. She was active, outgoing, energetic and, to me, virtually fearless. Growing up in in the Sixties and Seventies in Miami, when one could still call the city, "a sleepy little beach town," our childhood was full of fun times: weekend beach outings, swimming in our neighbor's pool, juvenile entrepreneurial pursuits (such as lemonade stands, selling baked goods, even a beauty salon) frequent visits to the Coconut Grove Playhouse (where our parents introduced us to one of our greatest shared loves, the theater)concerts, parties and the blessing of being raised by two of the best parents in the world, Jean and Jim Russell. Nancy and I had newsprint running through our veins; both Mom and Dad began as reporters and made their careers in journalism. Thus, the clatter of typewriters was a constant in our home, as were discussions of current events every night at the dinner table. The Nightly News was an inviolable evening ritual and the newspaper that our father worked for as an editor for forty years, The Miami Herald, was read cover to cover as a matter of course. Our upbringing emphasized being smart, well-informed, well-read and opinionated. My sister and I shared a lifelong passion for politics. Nancy, the rebel, took the opposite position of our parents, who were Republicans, while I, "the perfect child," followed the footsteps of Mom and Dad. I reasoned, "They're intelligent. I trust them." Nancy declared herself a Democrat as soon as she discovered the differences between the two parties.(Once Watergate happened, thankfully, I did an about-face and became a donkey.) Once Nancy heard the word hippie she knew about them and embarked on revolutionary-protester-flower-child-lite. She never moved to a commune or stopped shaving her legs, but she clued me in to being part of The Movement, the counter-culture, The Tribe. Love beads, paisley, and my very own POW bracelet quickly followed. Nancy blazed the trail, kid sister took note of big sister's popularity, easy access to boys, verve and nerve. Inspired by her example,I took a bold path myself. My sister turned me on to The Force, in its many incarnations. And she could wield it. She laser-sworded her way through life, undaunted, unafraid, with zest and relish. It's impossible to list all the things that made Nancy lovable and drew people to her. She built a beautiful, fun family with her husband Ryan Dearr, a close quartet that included their son, Taylor, and daughter, Siobhan. Nancy was a remarkable mother and wife, a leader in her children's activities and hostess supreme. As I said in the eulogy I gave at the memorial service for Nancy, she was my ally, my advocate, my "therapist" and best friend. She will be with us always: Nancy with the laughing face.--Eileen Russell, Nancy's sister.
September 15, 2015

Mark and I share in the collective shock of Nancy's passing. Mark went to high school with her, and I became kindred spirits with her on FB. We literally were on the same page when it came to philosophy, politics, religion, music, etc. She HAD her convictions and wasn't afraid to let anyone know what she was thinking. She was authentic and I admired that. She was my FB sounding board and I would often forward her posts on. I will miss her viewpoint, her audacity to speak up; we will ALL miss her.
Lorie and Mark Curtiss
September 1, 2015
I am deeply saddened by the loss of Nancy, who was one of those rare friends that no matter how much time passed, it was as if no time had occurred. Seeing her recently, after decades, she had the same radiating intelligence, sparkling wit, infectious laugh and the ease and comfort that made everyone want to be around her. She spoke so lovingly of Ryan and her son and daughter. How I wish I could be with you all today. I can only imagine how deeply she will be missed. By so many.
Pam Pyms
August 31, 2015
To Ryan, and her family , Nancy was a wonderful person. I am so happy to have been her hairdresser and her friend. She was one of my favorite people and I am speechless other than to say I am terribly sorry and give you comfort. A wonderful lady, wife mother,friend and daughter.
Sarah Piper
August 31, 2015
Nancy was a wonderful and fun friend. Kind, generous, bright, loving to everyone,and a great party dancer. One of my sources for celebrity passings. Her love of film ("All About Eve", knew every line), theater, and music esp The Beatles and The Roches. I will miss her visits to NYC, a city which I know she would have loved to return to. Ryan, Siobhan, and Taylor my thoughts are with you.
Richard Hunter
August 30, 2015
Nancy, your warmth, smile, intelligence , and wit will be sorely missed. I am incredibly grateful that this lovely woman touched my life. My sincere condolences to her entire family (especially my childhood friend Eileen) you are all in my thoughts and prayers, until we meet again, sending much love
Wendy Solem
August 30, 2015
Ryan, Taylor, and Siobhan,
I am so stunned and saddened to hear about Nancy's death. She was a woman who I greatly admired and was thrilled to keep up with her thoughts and opinions on Facebook. I loved our time together in the days at Plymouth. I will miss the reality check that she always brought to the world.

You are all in my thoughts and prayers.
Heather Harding
August 29, 2015
Our deepest sympathy to Ryan, his children, the extended Dearr family, and all of Nancy's friends. We will miss you terribly. - Lee, Susan and Sam Gordon
Lee Gordon
August 29, 2015
My deepest condolences to Ryan, her children and family. She was such a wonderful person and she cared so much about everyone. She will be so missed by everyone. So sad as she was so young. RIP Nancy
August 28, 2015
Our hearts and love goes to you on this time. Psalm 9:9
August 28, 2015
My deepest sympathy to you all for your unfathomable loss.
Dan Casale
August 28, 2015
Nancy was my first roommate after high school. I have many fond memories of our early years together. Heartfelt sympathy to her loving family.
Ginger Sanders-Dager
August 28, 2015
There are no words, Nancy was one of a kind, who took on a cause, volunteered for numerous committees, and through it all she remained true to herself, her family and friends, no false façade, just always Nancy, you will be missed but not forgotten.
Pat Janisse
August 28, 2015
So sorry to hear
August 28, 2015
Fond memories of book group discussions, youth sports, beach days. All our love and sympathy to Ryan, Taylor and Siobhan.
Suzanne Levinson
August 28, 2015
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