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Nancy M. Jarvi

November 3, 1949 October 30, 2019
Nancy M. Jarvi
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Obituary for Nancy M. Jarvi

Nancy Marie Jarvi nee Pavich was born in Eveleth, Minnesota on November 3, 1949.

Her eyes gave away her Italian Croatian heritage whose soft blue color was reminiscent of the pristine waters of the Adriatic Sea.

Eveleth was iron ore country at the time of Nancy’s birth which meant, as a general rule, that its community was comprised of hardworking people who were also tough enough to withstand the brutally cold winters. Her father, Thomas Pavich, worked in the iron ore mines for over 30 years providing for his family- his magnificent wife, Mafalda, and three children- Robert, Janice and Nancy. But with the cold came curling, a sport Nancy played throughout her childhood culminating with winning the Duluth city women’s championship while in college, and hockey, a game Nancy loved. Like Eveleth, hockey is a fast moving sport requiring a scrappy kind of toughness to play. Nancy, like Eveleth and hockey, was also tough.

But growing up in Eveleth was not only about surviving the cold winters or having a deep sense of responsibility and stamina required to work in the iron ore mines. A sense of humor was helpful and Nancy had plenty of it. It is the characteristic that so many loved about her and that which she passed along to her son, Tommy. And along with that humor, Nancy had an infectious laugh that was a joy to hear.

While at a wedding, she met the love of her life Tom, a strapping man of Finnish and Swedish descent. Tom, after just returning from his service in the Army, squired Nancy about town, often on the back of his Triumph motorcycle. Once Nancy had graduated from the University of Minnesota, they married in 1971 and had two children, Thomas Mark and Coreen Elizabeth. Throughout her life, Nancy was a devoted mother and wife. She was active in both of her children’s lives- attending most baseball games Tommy played throughout his academic career and as an assistant coach on Coreen’s softball teams. To accommodate Tom’s career, the family moved to Illinois, Utah, Los Angeles, Missouri and finally settled in Northern California in San Carlos, where the children mostly grew up. Nancy was often seen around town shuttling her children, going to play tennis or visiting friends with the top down on her black Mustang.

Later in life, Tom and Nancy moved to Omaha. They became active in local veterans organizations and Nancy was apart of the American Legion Auxiliary and a life member of AMVETS (American Veterans) Ladies Auxiliary. Nancy kept a pristine home, usually had some type of political news show or sporting event on the TV and enjoyed cooking. Having moved to Omaha and away from her children in California, Nancy relied on telephone calls to stay in touch with them. For anyone who has spoken with Nancy over the phone, she developed a familiar refrain upon answering the phone: “Yo Yo Yo!” It didn’t matter that this silly little utterance was coming out of the mouth of someone in their 60’s (actually, it made it funnier), because this was funny Nancy at her core.

To the end, Nancy exhibited those characteristics that defined her: tough and funny. She was tough in the face of a debilitating physical condition that robbed her of her body. Yet, somehow, she remained funny. Nancy was a trivia machine, especially when it came to sports. When Coreen and her husband, Luis, visited Omaha during her illness and wondered out loud about the record of a particular sports team, Nancy would look at them with those lovely Adriatic Sea blue eyes and smirk. You knew she knew the answer- she always seemed to have the answer which made her a spectacular mother, wife and friend.

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