Nan Shaffer reunited with loved ones in Heaven on October 27, 2020 ending her long and valiant fight against the effects of Parkinson’s. While she entered the world on the eve of the Great Depression and departed during the great pandemic, the life lived in between was a storybook.
The lyrically-named Mary Nannette Navin was born in Marion, Ohio on October 15, 1929 to Francis E. and Helen M. (Lutz). She described her small town childhood in Marion as idyllic. In 1945 she moved to Youngstown and attended Ursuline High School where she joined a group of girls whose friendships would last a lifetime. She married Fred, whom she met while they worked at the Erie Railroad, on May 8, 1954 and embarked on her perfectly-suited role as homemaker and Mom. She and Fred enjoyed an active social life of couple’s clubs, neighborhood parties, dinner dance clubs, and countless days at Wildwood.
After Fred’s retirement in 1982, life centered on being a doting Mimi to seven grandkids and the game of bridge, which she played her entire adult life. Bridge kept her mind sharp until the end and at one point she was in 18 active clubs. Fred would joke that his eventual calling hours would need to be scheduled around one of her clubs (they weren’t). She dutifully watched over him in his final months in 2003 and then, as she did always, entered the next phase of her life with acceptance and spunk. She enjoyed 14 years of devoted companionship with Bill McCann and in 2018 began the final chapter of her life at Shepherd of the Valley in Poland. Always blessed with an abundance of friends, she made many special friends at her wonderful new home. The past few years also saw the arrival of several great-grandkids, which gave her immeasurable joy.
The bedrock of her life was a deep and unwavering Catholic faith. She was an active parishioner of St. Dominic Church where daily Mass, the Holy Rosary Society, Seton Society, Legion of Mary, Sodality Mom, Boy Scout Council, and volunteering for school lunches, bingo and festivals were some of the organizations and activities that enriched her life.
If you knew Nan, you knew she possessed the Irish gift of gab but she was also an exceptional listener, offering counsel and wisdom and perspective with kindness and love. She was blessed and was a blessing and even at 91 was teaching what would be her final lesson to her family – how to be contented in your situation. Even as the things in life fail and fade and depart, be thankful and grateful, look for new things to embrace and always, always trust in the Lord.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and her sister Margaret and leaves behind to cherish her memory her brother Tom Navin, daughter Susy (Dave) Schumann, son Tim (Nikki) Shaffer, grandchildren Matthew (Alicia) Schumann, Christopher (Elizabeth) Schumann, Erin (Dave) Ripper, Eric (Taylor) Schumann, Kevin (Jenn) Shaffer, Katie (Kevin) Parkhurst, Emily (Lorenzo) Albanese, step-grandchildren Cole and Macyn Smith, 9 great-grandchildren with a 10th on the way, and several nieces and nephews.
Her family gives heartfelt thanks to the entire staff of Shepherd of the Valley in Poland – angels all.
Due to current conditions, there will be a private family Mass of Christian Burial at St. Dominic’s with a memorial to be held at a future date.
Professional arrangements are being handled by Edward J. Fox & Sons Funeral Home 4700 Market St. Boardman.
In lieu of flowers material contributions may be made in Nan’s name to St. Dominic Church, 77 E. Lucius Ave., Youngstown, Ohio 44507.
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