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Nancy G. Drapeau


Nancy G. Drapeau, 67, of Dubuque, Iowa, passed away on Dec. 21, 2019, at Stonehill Care Center, lovingly surrounded by her family. To honor Nancy's life, a memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020, at Van Buren Elementary School, 2525 29th St., in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. A Celebration of Life for family and friends will be held immediately following her memorial service at the Lion Bridge Brewing Co., 59 16th Avenue SW, Czech Village, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Tri-State Cremation Center in humbly serving Nancy's family.
Nancy was born Sept. 16, 1952, in Cedar Rapids. She was one of three daughters born to William G. and Dorothy I. (Gearkee) McCrory. Nancy graduated with her master's degree from the University of Iowa and spent the majority of her life in the Cedar Rapids area working on behalf of children as a special education teacher at Kenwood Elementary School, an administrator and, finally, as principal at Van Buren Elementary School. Nancy devoted her professional life to making sure each child she worked with was seen, heard and understood. She helped countless students find joy and opportunity through education; she cared deeply and took great pride in her work. After retiring, she moved to Dubuque with her husband, Jim, where she tended to her pets, flowers, birdfeeders and an overflowing vegetable garden.
Nancy poured herself into creative pursuits in her spare time. She was an avid photographer, always ready to chase down a swan if it meant a good photo. Nancy loved to write. She was the editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper and pursued journalism in college before settling into education. From staff memos to personal essays, everything Nancy wrote was imbued with her thoughtfulness and oddball wit.
Family time was extremely important to Nancy. She traveled the world with friends and family, from Japan to Sturgis, S.D., to the beaches of Florida -- one of her favorite places since childhood. Nancy loved family gatherings, particularly around the holidays, where she decorated the house from top to bottom and made her famous "pizza balls."
Nancy was a kind and generous soul who saw only the good in people. Her gentle spirit was an inspiration to all who knew and loved her. Even through the devastating Alzheimer's diagnosis, Nancy sought peace, not only for herself, but also for those she would leave behind.
Those left behind to cherish the memory of Nancy include her loving husband, James "Jim" Drapeau, Bellevue, Iowa; her two children, Matthew "Matt" Raw, and his wife, Maggie Campbell, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Kathryn "Katy" Raw, Minneapolis, Minn.; her stepdaughter, Jennifer "Jenny" Wilking, and her husband, Mike, Stony Brook, N.Y.; her four grandchildren, Charlotte Campbell-Raw, Wilder Campbell-Raw, Vivian Wilking and Alexander Wilking; her sisters, Linda Drzycimski, and her husband, John, Cedar Rapids and Sue Oldaker, Milwaukee, Wis.; and along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family, friends and neighbors.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents and a brother-in-law, Russ Oldaker.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Nancy's name to the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Research Center, 4111 West Frontage Rd., Highway 52 NW, 2-700, Rochester, MN 55901.
Nancy's family would like to thank the Mayo Clinic, along with the nurses and staff at Prairie Care, Stonehill Care Center and Hospice of Dubuque for all of their professional, compassionate and tender care of Nancy, and her family.
Online condolences may be shared with Nancy's family at www.tristatecremationcenter.com.
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