Nancy Stratton was a friendly face at the Oneida Public Library for many years. Since 2003, Nancy tutored several ethnic community members, helping them improve their conversational English. Along the way, she became part of the family to many of them. One family invited Nancy to their mother’s 85th birthday party.

Photos of Nancy at many such family gatherings were prominently displayed at her calling hours in November. Her “warm and mothering love” is how Judy Donnelly, a past colleague at the library, remembers her.

“She was gifted in bringing out the best in her students,” Donnelly said.

One young Chinese man, who was in America without his wife, became close friends with Nancy as his English speaking skills improved. A picture of Nancy at the Great Wall of China was among the framed photos at her calling hours. Nancy also tutored a Vietnamese woman for many years and went above and beyond the program’s requirements to assist her English speaking skills, as was her nature. Friends and family gathering to pay their respects were reminded of Nancy’s giving, sweet ways as they reminisced while viewing the pictures of a life well-lived.

Her passing saddens Madison County Reads Ahead, the tutoring program that Nancy Stratton volunteered with for 16 years. We thank Nancy, posthumously, for the time, talent and love that she gave to her community; her compassion and smile are missed.

By martha

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