01/22/1944 - 01/17/2016 Nancy Neitzel was a teacher, cat lover, candy bar hoarder, ordained minister, flight attendant, mother of the year (according to her children), clock collector, world traveler, Science Camp counselor, drama major, unofficial ambassador for the City of Santa Cruz, certified grammar inspector, lover of all things pink and blue, Alfred Dunner enthusiast, admitted dictator, and as of January 17th, 2016 she took on her last assignment as heaven's newest angel. Nancy Neitzel taught elementary school in Lodi Unified for 38 years, and if you ask anyone, she was everyone’s FAVORITE teacher. Before her marriage of 24 years to Dale Neitzel, she was Nancy Case, but over the years Mrs. Neitzel taught at Davis, Parklane, and Oakwood Elementary schools. If you do the math, (she never allowed a calculator) she touched the lives over 1000 students during her career. She would be the first to remind any of her students that even though the United States of America was a democracy, in her classroom it was a dictatorship. She made her own lesson plans, pissed off more than a few administrators, and always stayed after class just in case there was a student that might need a little extra help. Even though the kids in her classroom were number one, the most important aspect of her life was her family. Nancy was told she would never have children because of health issues, and just like every other aspect of her life she defied the odds and had two children, Eric and Jennifer. If you asked her, those two children were each miracles, a statement that each of them would have wholeheartedly agreed with. She loved spending time at the beach, something that filled her heart with happiness and she also loved the occasional trip to the casino, which didn't fill anything for her. What truly filled her heart daily was her beloved kitty cat, Scooter. She could be in the ICU right after surgery, but yet her main concern was knowing that Scooter was fed and that the TV was left on the Disney channel so he had something to watch while she was not around. Nancy was a very spiritual person, being baptized as a young adult into the Community of Christ, where she later became an ordained member of the priesthood. She had a heart of gold and a smile that people talked about up until the very end. Nancy would also be the first to tell you that she was not afraid of death. She did not want people to mourn for her passing, she wanted everyone to celebrate her “going home”.
Following her wishes, she will be privately interred with my sister Jennifer at Cherokee Memorial in Lodi, and we will be celebrating her life at 1:00pm on January 30, 2016 at the Community of Christ Church in Stockton, California. It's on a Saturday, so no hall pass will be needed to attend. In lieu of flowers, her family asks you to take extra good care of your kitty cat, or if you aren’t lucky enough to have a wonderful kitty cat like Scooter, at least have a Rocky Road candy bar in Nancy's honor.
Nancy's Celebration of Life details: