Nancy O’Donnell Rathbun, 71

Nancy O’Donnell Rathbun

Granville, NY – Nancy O’Donnell Rathbun, 71, joined her beloved sons in heaven on September 29, 2008.

Nancy was born on December 26, 1936, the daughter of Patrick and Mary Roach O’Donnell of West Granville. Though Nancy spent most of her life in Granville she had currently begun spending summers here and enjoying the winter months in Winter Haven, Florida.

While raising five children, Nancy returned to college to obtain her Bachelor’s Degree in Education from St. Joseph the Provider College in Rutland, VT and her Master’s Degree in Special Education from St. Rose in Albany. She spent many years teaching in the Whitehall School System and went on to retire from the Poultney School System.  She continued as a substitute teacher in the Granville School System until June 2008. Nancy continued to work as a hostess at the family run business, Rathbun’s Maple Sugar House, even throughout her illness.

Nancy was a member of St. Matthew’s Parish in Winter Haven, Florida during the winter months. There she was a Eucharistic Minister, took Communion to the sick and was a Bereavement Minister. In the summer she was a parishioner of St. Mary’s Church of the Roman Catholic Community of Granville.  Nancy was a member of the Slate Valley Garden Club, Tri-County Branch of the Women’s Farm & Garden Association, and Camellia Garden Club of Winter Haven. She was a Master Gardener and had won many blue ribbons in bulk design and horticulture and was studying to be an accredited flower show judge. A special interest in addition to her gardening was genealogy. Nancy was proud of her Irish heritage and enjoyed tracing her roots as well as assisting others with theirs. She traveled to Ireland and facilitated many of these genealogical connections for not only her own family but many others as well. Nancy spent many joyful afternoons at various sporting events throughout the area watching with pride her grandchildren’s participation.

Nancy was predeceased by two sons: Michael in 1995 and Mark in 1998. She is survived by three children: Ellen Rathbun and her husband Dwight Thorne of Hollis Center, Maine, Matthew Rathbun and his wife Wendy of North Granville and Richard Rathbun and his wife Tammy of Granville. Also surviving are 15 grandchildren: Ryan, Meghan, William, Benjamin, Samuel, Mary, Jason, Jeremy, Brandon, Katelyn, Erin, Kyle and Nathan Rathbun, and Christopher and Lillian Thorne. Additional survivors are a sister Sheila O’Donnell of Rochester, NY, a brother John O’Donnell of Seekonk, MA and a former husband William Rathbun.

The family would like to thank Dr. Gallani and Donna Boss for all the love, respect and support given to Nancy. They would also like to thank the entire staff at the C. R. Wood Cancer Center and the nurses and hospital staff at Glens Falls Hospital T2, especially Kate, Kim, Deb, and Christopher.

A funeral mass will be celebrated at St. Mary’s Church, 23 Bulkley Ave., Granville on Friday, October 3, 2008 at 10 AM. Burial will follow at St. Patrick’s Cemetery in North Granville. Friends may call on Thursday, October 2, 2008 from 4PM – 7PM at the Robert M King Funeral Home, 23 Church St. Granville.

Memorial contributions may be made in Nancy’s memory to the Haynes House of Hope, POB 285, Granville, NY 12832.

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