Nancy Valesano

Nancy Ellen Valesano

1935 - 2020

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Obituary of Nancy Ellen Valesano

Nancy Ellen Valesano, age 85, of Hilton Head Island, South Carolina; born and raised in Peru, Illinois; and formerly of Dyer, Indiana passed away on Friday, October 9, 2020.

Nancy was faith filled, exhibiting her Christian love unconditionally to all whether she knew them or not.  She was also a loving and devoted wife, sister, adored mother, friend to legions, life long pianist and piano teacher to many, and a patriotic proud American.  

She always joked that her biggest but best “mistake” was in winking at the wrong boy in high school band, her future husband John. Though she was only 14 and he 17, they fell in love and married five years later in 1954. They relocated to Indiana where they then raised their four children. Every summer was a time for travel which they both loved, camping at many of our western national parks. In the early 1980s they discovered Hilton Head and began to think about retirement. Upon retiring in 1992 Nancy and John moved here full-time.  They remained happily married for 58 years until John’s death in November 2012. Together they enjoyed a lifetime of family and world travel.  Nancy and John‘s favorite destination was Maui, and a portion of Nancy‘s ashes will be laid to rest in the beautiful waters between Maui, Lanai and Molokai. 

Nancy had a great sense of humor, was a lover of puns and had a ready and infectious laugh that was instantly recognizable and adored. 

She was extremely generous supporting many people and charities including Folds of Honor, Tunnel to Towers Foundation, Saint Anthony Zuni Indian Mission, St Jude Children’s Hospital, Salvation Army and Hospice Care Of The Lowcountry.

Music was in her heart and soul and she was an accomplished pianist and lifelong piano teacher to many including her final student, her dear Claire. The gift of music that she gave to so many through her teaching was very far-reaching.

Nancy was also an avid reader and loved nothing better than to have her darling cat Lexi at her side while reading a good book. She regularly attended bookclub at the library with her devoted “senior posse” friends. Her “senior posse” friends were so very dear to her and she treasured her friendship with each of them. As their “deputy marshal and secretary,” she began to write their self-titled book, Possibilities, about their exploits, which she hoped they will now complete.

Her greatest love and devotion however was to her family, children and grandchildren who she loved unconditionally and totally. Her spirit dwells in each of them and will continue to live and grow. 

She is survived by her brother Oscar (Ruth) Nelson; children: Dr. John Valesano (Laurie), Julie Valesano, Kathy (Ernest) Holley and Valerie (Donald) Porter; grandchildren: Anthony, Natalie, Casey, Andrew, Ryan, Alletta, Kira, and Jeremy.  She was preceded in death by her husband Dominic “John” Valesano, and her parents Alletta and Oscar Nelson. 

Memorials: in lieu of flowers, Nancy asked that donations be made in her honor to Hospice Care of the Lowcountry who were kind and supportive to her and her family during her final days. (; mailing address: PO Box 3827, Bluffton, SC 29910)

Interment of Nancy’s remains will be at St. Francis by the Sea Catholic Church Columbarium, Hilton Head Island, SC next to her husband John.