On May 13, 1929, a little girl came into the world in St. Francis Hospital in Charleston, West Virginia, born at just 7 months’ gestation to a woman from somewhere out of state named Martha Booker.
Martha gave her daughter, who came to be called Nancy, up for adoption, and as it so happened one of the nurses was friends with Edith (Dame) Hanna and her husband, Robert, and mentioned the baby to them. The Hannas adopted little Nancy, and she went home with them in July once she could leave the hospital.
Robert, who was born in Montgomery, West Virginia, was the manager of a mill and mining supply company in Charleston, while Edith, a native of Lowmoor, Virginia, was a certified teacher but stayed home to raise the couple’s daughter and became her earliest tutor. Nancy was homeschooled until the fourth grade, when she enrolled at Sacred Heart School, staffed by the Franciscan Sisters of Allegheny, New York.
“I remember fondly the fourth grade because of my first socialization in school,” Sister Nancy said in her life story. “I did well, except for jumping down the fire escape. Luckily, I did not break anything.”
Near the end of that school year, Robert picked Nancy up at school and told her that as soon as school was out they were moving to Lynchburg, Virginia, where he had gotten a job similar to the one he had in Charleston. The next school year found her enrolled at Holy Cross Academy, where she was taught by the Daughters of Charity.
Read more about Sister Nancy (PDF)
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