Nancy Ann Golightly Tardy, 85, passed away on November 16, 2019 in Mansfield, Texas, surrounded by her family.
Nancy was born February 25, 1934, in Plainview, Texas, to Lee Calvin Golightly and Dot Rude Golightly. During childhood, Nancy and her family relocated frequently to accommodate her father’s service at various military bases during World War II. As a result, Nancy attended 18 schools in a 12-year period! In spite of the challenges of these frequent transitions, she would often remark when telling stories from her childhood that she was always grateful to meet new friends and felt accepted at every school she attended. It’s been said that ‘Nice people tend to meet nice people’ — a fitting tribute for Nancy.
Nancy graduated from Floydada High School in 1952, and then from Texas Tech in 1957 with a degree in elementary education.
In 1956, she married Harvey “Dale” Tardy in Floydada, Texas. Dale and Nancy moved to Pasadena, Texas, in 1957, where she taught third grade elementary in both Pasadena and Deer Park, Texas Public schools. Whether through formal education, volunteer work or teaching Sunday School, Nancy always had a big heart for helping children. Her grandchildren’s memories of time with their “Mammaw” attest to the fact that Nancy had a gift for helping children feel special, loved and maybe even a little bit spoiled.
While living in the Houston area, Nancy and Dale became parents to three sons, Larry Dale (Lisa), Joel David (Betsy) and Todd Ray (Shelley). Then, after moving from the Houston area back to Lubbock, Nancy and Dale welcomed their daughter, Debbie Rene (David). Nancy is survived by her husband and all four of her children.
Nancy was also a proud grandmother to 21 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren! She was fond of bragging on all of their various accomplishments, and she was intentional to develop a special connection with each one of them. Commenting on her ever-growing family, Nancy would often remark with a twinkle in her eye and a chuckle in her voice, “All of this happened because two people fell in love.”
When Dale and Nancy moved the family back to Lubbock in 1964, Nancy continued teaching school and they began a business called Rayne Soft Water. Several years later, they took on a swimming pool business, Tardy Pool Co., as well as Culligan of Lubbock. Nancy helped Dale with the family business on Saturdays and during the summers when she was not teaching school. The Culligan Water Business is still owned and operated by the Tardy Family.
The most important part of Nancy’s life was her faith. If you knew her for more than a few minutes, then you’d quickly learn how thrilled she was that all of her children and grandchildren have a relationship with Jesus. She believed that we can all accept God’s free gift of eternal life by acknowledging that Jesus died on the cross to forgive our sins. She wanted everyone she knew to hear that Romans 10:13 tells us, “Whosoever shall call upon the name of The Lord shall be saved.” Her greatest joy was knowing that we can all experience what is promised to us in Romans 6:23, “The gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Nancy and Dale enjoyed watching their children and grandchildren swim in the backyard pool, taking family members skiing and traveling the world. They traveled in an RV around the country and eventually visited all 50 states! They also enjoyed trips to Europe and the Caribbean. Nancy loved serving alongside her husband on many mission trips where they shared their talents and their hearts with people in need. They moved from Lubbock to Mansfield, Texas, in 2018, where they were able to spend more time with family in that area.
In 2002, Nancy developed kidney failure and her health began to decline. She persevered through these challenges without a word of complaining for 17 years. Her family wants to express how much they appreciate the care given by the doctors, nurses and other medical personnel throughout this entire season.
Nancy’s family would also like to express tremendous gratitude to the many friends who have been a support group, and for bringing so much delicious food for so many years. Nancy requested before passing that her family also be thanked for their support. She especially wanted to thank her husband, Dale, for the faithful daily care with dialysis, cooking, transportation, other household duties, and the list goes on.
Nancy believed the only thing you take to heaven with you is the family that you have. Rumor has it, she’s already standing by those pearly gates whipping up a batch of her world-famous mac-and-cheese and preparing for the rest of her family to join her there some day.
Nancy’s family will welcome friends during a visitation and services where we will celebrate her life together.
A memorial service was held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, November 19, 2019 at First Baptist Church – Lubbock. Burial followed at the Floydada Cemetery at 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, November 19, 2019.
Visitation was held at 5-7 p.m., Monday, November 18, 2019 at Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers, 6025 82nd St., Lubbock, TX, 79424.