Nancy Kay Crandell was born on May 16th, 1954, and passed away too soon on May 6th, 2022, after a brief illness. While her wonderful life on this planet might have been cut a little shorter than expected, she lived a very fulfilled life that can best be described as incredibly loyal. Looking up the definition of the word, it’s surprising Nancy’s name isn’t used as an example by Webster, for her faithfulness to commitments or obligations was a singular thread throughout her entire life.
An example of this, is how in 1974, Nancy went on her first ever blind date and met the love of her life Kenneth Crandell. A short 2 years later they were married and spent the next 45+ years side by side embarking on all of life’s adventures completely inseparable. Even in her final days, Ken and Nancy still managed to share their daily routine of four quick kisses, which used to make their kids groan in embarrassment, but now proved to be endearing.
Another example of true loyalty was in her 44 years spent as an RN at Iowa Lutheran Hospital in Des Moines. Nancy graduated from the Iowa Lutheran School of Nursing in 1975, one of the last classes from the school which had been established in 1914. She immediately began employment at Iowa Lutheran Hospital and rarely even took a sick day over a career that lasted until the summer of 2019 when she retired, with perhaps an oracle-like quality, that saw her leave the medical profession shortly before the historic pandemic.
The greatest example of her loyalty however, might be in the raising of her three boys; John, Chris and Eric. When any other sane mother would have found it completely justifiable to leave, one or perhaps all three, of these mischievous boys by the side of a road and drive away laughing gleefully, she managed to trudge ahead, keep them out of harms way and watch them grow into fully functioning adults.
Nancy was loyal to all of her friends and extended family members, always willing to lend a hand when needed or send one of her boys to volunteer in her stead. She was loyal to her neighbors, even referred to as “the cool mom” sometimes. Two things were certain for all the other kids in the neighborhood; a free can of pop was always available at the Crandell’s and if you chanted loud enough “Nancy’s Spaghetti” could be made in a flash. And if you ever wanted a quick form of entertainment and didn’t have time to watch the 1980’s seminal classic movie, “Over the Top”, you could catch Nancy laying waste to her three boys or any other would-be challengers in an arm-wrestling match.
Nancy loved to travel, but the one area you could argue Nancy didn’t display a dutiful sense of loyalty was in her mode of transportation. Throughout the years, Nancy enjoyed traveling by plane, train, cars, campers, boats, bikes, roller skates and even cruise ships. She was never able to check Spaceship off the list, which might have disappointed her. But since her Spirit is now sailing through the stars on its way into Heaven, it’s clear she managed to get to her final destination without the need of that last mode of transportation, so we’ll let that last one slide.
Nancy is survived by her loving husband, Kenneth Crandell. Her adoring sons; John (Audra), Chris (Sarah) and Eric. Beloved grandchildren; Cooper, Bella, Stella and Ivy. And her sisters; Linda (Norm), Barb (Rob) and Deb (Tom). She was preceded in death by her parents, Johnny and Lorraine Schmidt, and her brother Jeff Schmidt.
Nancy will be dearly missed by all those whose lives she touched, but we all know she will remain eternally loyal as she waits to be reunited with her loved ones again.
Please join the family as they greet friends from 2-4pm on Saturday, May 28th at Brooks Funeral Care – 7975 University Blvd, Clive, IA.