Nancy Jean Dooley, age 67, of Colchester, passed away peacefully at home with her beloved family by her side on Friday, June 12th following a courageous & valiant 4 ½ year battle with Leukemia.
Born in Ysleta, TX on July 5, 1952, she was a daughter of the late Wilfred & Christine (Cummings) Piette. Nancy & her 3 siblings grew up in Colchester & attended Bacon Academy.
Nancy attended Three Rivers Community College in Norwich where she earned her Associate’s degree. She worked as a purchaser for Nova Electronics in Colchester and also worked for GBR Corporation in Chester for many years. She worked for Whelen Engineering until retiring in 2016.
On June 3rd, 1972 at Colchester Federated Church, Nancy married her first love, Daniel Collins; together they started a family and brought Justin and Patience into the world. Sadly she lost Danny to a short battle with cancer in 1987.
Nancy found love again with John Dooley, whom she also married at Colchester Federated Church on September 22, 1990. With John they started a second phase of their family and brought Siobhan and Patrick into the fold.
Nancy had many hobbies. She was a lifelong crafter and in her earlier years took an interest in the art of Quilling, creating beautifully intricate framed arrangements for Wedding invitations and Wedding photos. She was a member of the Quilling Guild and showcased her expertise and talent at numerous statewide Craft Fairs.
In recent years she fell in love again with crocheting, which she began doing in high school. She lovingly crocheted full blankets first for each of her four treasured grandchildren. Then, as time and treatments with her illness allowed, she crocheted a blanket for each of her children, her husband John, and finally in her last week completed the final stitches for Patrick’s girlfriend Alyssa with whom she had come to love as part of the family.
Nancy enjoyed nature and took great pride in her meticulously cared for gardens. She along with other close friends at the Federated Church formed a church Garden Club and toured many gardens, flower shows, organized a yearly Plant Sale from the group’s surplus perennials and donations from their own gardens and they enjoyed many outings with her close group which always included lunch somewhere.
With her husband John, Nancy took up hiking and together they summited all 48 peaks of the White Mountains of New Hampshire over 4,000 feet and she became a member of the 4,000 Foot Club. She was extremely proud of that and even started planning to reach her goal of hiking the Appalachian Trail before being diagnosed with her illness in 2016. Together with John, they traveled the East Coast visiting National Parks and Historic sites and where possible hiking short sections of the AT thus at least fulfilling a part of her goal.
When John started running, Nancy, finding an opportunity to spend more time together with him, also took up running. They ran many miles over the early 2000s training and entering many 5ks and half marathons, quite often placing in her age group.
Nancy was a native of Colchester, growing up in the Colchester Federated Church. She fondly remembered singing in the choir as a youngster. As an adult Nancy spent several years teaching Sunday school, mentoring young women in Discipleship Group (Confirmation) and even co-leading a retreat with two other mentors while the Pastor was ill. Nancy was also very honored and proud to be asked to lead the Women’s Fellowship for several years and was named Woman of the Year in 2007.
Nancy’s greatest joy in life though was her family. Many cookouts in the backyard happened over the years and all involved her favorite backyard game, Croquet. A fierce competitor, no one was allowed to use the Black Ball except for Nancy…as eldest she claimed the rights! The family enjoyed numerous camping vacations including many summer vacations at Hammonasset State Park, the Eastham/Wellfleet area in Cape Cod, and any beach camping on the East Coast, her favorite destination being Key West, FLA.
Nancy was an avid dog lover and she had grown up with several Boxers in her Piette family household. Later on after Siobhan inherited a family pug, Betty, from Nancy’s sister Cindy, Nancy became intent on adopting a Bulldog and rescued little Buster whom she absolutely loved. She and John rescued Sadie from NJ and have had her in their life for the last 6 years.
In addition to her husband and closest friend of over 29 years, Nancy will be forever loved and missed by her beloved children, Justin Collins, Patience Collins and her love Kenny, Siobhan Dooley and her love Ashley & Patrick Dooley and his love Alyssa.; her cherished grandchildren, Ethan Collins, Hannah Collins, Isabella Wisnieski & Landon Wisnieski; her sister, Cindy & husband, Scott Michaelson as well as their children, Adam & wife Rueby, Christopher & Bruce Michaelson, her nephew Glen Piette and his wife Samantha; and numerous extended family members and friends. In addition to both of her parents, Nancy was predeceased by her brothers, Bruce & Glen Piette.
Calling hours will be held Saturday, June 20th from 4-7pm at the Aurora McCarthy Funeral Home, 167 Old Hartford Rd., Colchester. A graveside service of committal will be held at Linwood Cemetery in Colchester on Monday June 22nd at 11:00am. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Colchester Federated Church. For online condolences, please visit www.auroramccarthyfuneralhome.com
To send flowers to Nancy's family, please visit our floral store.
Colchester Federated Church
60 Main Street, Colchester CT 06415