Nancy Glass Manheim
02 Apr 1944 - 08 Nov 2008
Nancy taught for over thirty years for the New York City Board of Education. Nancy was a reading specialist and devoted much of her professional career teaching children to read and mentoring teachers in the teaching of reading. After retiring from the Board of Education, Nancy worked for the Reading Reform Foundation. Nancy worked many years ago for a reading program called Learning to Read Through the Arts, an after-school program. The arts were used to promote the teaching of reading. Nancy ran one of the schools and was later given the responsibility of traveling around the country to disseminate the program to other school districts. To Alan Manheim, Nancy will always be his beautiful and loving wife and wonderful mother to their children. Nancy will always be our friend.
If you are a flame, it dances and burns blue;
If you are light, it pierces like a star
Intenser than a needlepoint of ice
The dextrous touch that shaped the soul of you,
Mingles, to mix, and make you what you are,
Magic between the sugar and the spice.
Excerpt from the poem “Nancy” by Elinor Morton Wylie
Nicolas phoned me from the airport on Saturday, November 8, 2008. He was on his way to France and called to tell me that Nancy Manheim had died. I thanked Nicolas for letting me know and sat down and had a good cry. I began to call club members to let them know that our beautiful Nancy was gone.
I remember the first time I saw Nancy. Like most people I was struck by her beauty. Blonde and leggy, a woman who could make jeans and a blouse look like a Chanel suit. Privileged to speak at her funeral, I likened Nancy to Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn, a perfect set of pearls. Nancy shone like a beautiful sunrise and when she departed, left in my mind, a beautiful sunset.
Nancy was an elegant woman, making all the men who danced with her debonair and handsome. When Nancy took a spot in a square, there was a dancer next to her immediately. Before the needle hit the record, most dancers approached Nancy with hand outstretched, ready to escort her to her square. Nancy took a room full of gay men and without a word, had them in the palm of her hand, chorus boys waiting for their turn with this exquisite star.
What made Nancy so special was that she was beautiful, inside and out. I saw the love between Nancy and Alan and the way they looked after one another. I watched how Nancy listened to others and how she made them feel so very special. It was very easy to love Nancy.
At Nancy’s funeral I listened to her friends and family glow when they spoke of her. Nancy was an educator with a brilliant mind and the ability to teach and reach others. I looked at the photo of Nancy, set in front of a vase of flowers and thought, she will always be beautiful and she will always be a part of the Times Squares family.
I attended Nancy’s funeral with Bill Wolff and Nick Martellacci. Amy Marcus rushed back from the fly-in at Harpers Ferry. Joe Chodash and Fred Feliciano. Nadine Posner and Nivia Cruz. Tony Picard. Tom Alamo. Esther and Richard Sands. Esther had the privilege of working with Nancy. Many other Times Squares members paid their respects to Alan as he sat Shiva.
At the annual square dancing convention there is a room for remembrance for all of our beloved square dancers who have died. In the room are panels where dancer’s badges are placed. This coming convention we would like to add Nancy’s badge to the panel so that she may join all of the other dancers who remain in our hearts and our minds. There is always a place for one so special as Nancy and we will be able to visit her and tell her how much we miss her.
Thank you Alan and your children, Lauren and David for sharing your Nancy with us. I am sure you know how we feel about you, Alan. There is always a spot for you on our dance floor. We can never take the place of Nancy. No one can. But our hands are outstretched. We love you, too.
- Times Squared newsletter, v.30 no.4 (Mar 2009) p.4
- Times Squared newsletter, v.30 no.1 (Dec 2008) p.1