ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our wife, mother, and sister, Nancy Davis. We will remember her forever and are hoping that her caring nature will be an inspiration to others. - Harry, Becky, Steve, Terri, Lisa, Tom, Bill and Larry

Nancy June Davis (nee Polyak) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on February 18, 2021 at the age of 80. Born December 26, 1940, she was the daughter of Thomas and Alma Polyak.
Nancy is survived by her husband of 48 wonderful years, Harry; her loving children Becky (Ginger Dollar) Davis, Steve (Michelle) Davis, Terri (Jon) Mossman, and Lisa (Steve Williams) Davis; her grandchildren Clay Swan-Davis, Foster Davis, Charlie Mossman, Benny Mossman, and McKinley Davis; her brothers Tom (Georgeen) Polyak, Bill (Joanne) Polyak and Larry (Karen) Polyak. She was preceded in death by her parents Thomas and Alma Polyak and grandchild Oliver Mossman.
While raising her four children, Nancy earned her PhD degree and began a successful business, Consulting Dynamics. Her inspirational thirst for knowledge and life instilled an independent determination in each of her children. As a consultant, she traveled across the U.S. and the world earning high praise in her field where she helped to transcend business culture. Later in her career, she taught graduate courses at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, eventually becoming an administrator and mentor. During this time she co-authored a book, and after her retirement, she authored her memoir, which was published in 2018.
Nancy had a creative and entrepreneurial spirit that drove her desire to learn and grow. This was evident by her many skills that included teaching, quilting, and baking. Her interests included reading, traveling, poker, mahjong, board games, gardening, and dinner with family and friends.
She was a selfless and thoughtful wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and aunt. Her family filled her with pride and joy, and she saw her life with her husband and their children and grandchildren as her greatest accomplishment.
A private funeral mass will be held at St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church in Naperville, seating is limited due to COVID restrictions. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hesed House (https://www.hesedhouse.org/); Attn: Development; 659 S. River Street; Aurora, IL 60506.
Posted by Julie Benesh on February 26, 2021
I met Nancy through the Organization Development Network of Chicago. Through her example she inspired me to go to Fielding to get my own PhD. After i graduated she referred me to what became my current position at the Chicago School where I was honored to become her colleague as Organizational Leadership faculty. She was a wonderful mentor to so many of us, both colleagues and literally hundreds of dissertation students. Her legacy lives on in them.
Posted by Susan Darlington on February 25, 2021
My husband, Larry and I, are remembering wonderful times with Nancy and Harry through our CFM friendship. There was the Danube River cruise in 2005, after they visited Nancy’s ancestral home in Europe. In 2008, we shared a vacation in Costa Rica. We also hosted the Davises at our former Florida condo and at our summer residence in NH. We last saw Nancy and Harry as their houseguests 3 summers ago when we visited the Chicago area from Texas, where we’ve retired. Nancy was smart, funny and faithful. She is an angel now among them!
Posted by Mary Agnes Cross on February 25, 2021
Nancy was very good to me. She and Harry saw that I got to the Associate Day of Reflection. She was a good model of St Francis and a real good leader of the Associates. 
Sr. Mary Agnes Cross
Posted by Roberta NAEGELE on February 25, 2021
My experience of Nancy and Harry began in what we called Misseo groups where sisters and associates of St. Francis met. We met at their home and they met with us. What a talented vibrant person. I found her to be in a class of her own, yet humble in the presence of her many talents. Over the years I was awed by her great generosity to our community. She worked hard to help us learn about what our associate program was about, and gave time to even direct it. Thank you, Nancy. Your generosity, heartfelt concern were certainly selfless gifts for which we are ever grateful. 
Posted by Helen McMahon on February 24, 2021
Don and I have known Nancy for over 40 years, and have many wonderful memories of being together at St. Cletus events with our children, and spending time together in CFM.  We were shocked and so sad to learn of her sudden and unexpected death. We will always remember her wisdom, insightful thoughts, and sharing of her many talents. God bless Nancy and her beautiful family that she loved so much. 
Posted by Margaret O'Brien on February 24, 2021
My late husband, Jim, and I have known and admired Nancy for the past 40 years, since I first spoke to her about joining CFM. Through it all, we've known Nancy's intelligence, compassion, enthusiasm, accomplishments, humor, outstanding character and good cheer. We will all miss her more than words can express. Enjoy your heavenly reward, dear Nancy, and we'll see you on the other side!
Posted by MARILYN MORE on February 24, 2021
Beyond shock is hardly enough to say. My memories go way back. She and I were next in age during our convent days. We departed that lifestyle on the same day and spent many years finding a new way of life. I was a bridesmaid in their wedding and she was in mine. Of course that was many years ago but every year I got a Christmas card keeping me updated on her family. Some where I have pictures of her children when they were small and some weddings. My sympathy really goes out to you Harry because you met so much to her. Prayers
Posted by Dorothy Nesbit on February 24, 2021
Nancy was a wonderful sister in Francis...I was very much moved by her devotion and spirituality. Her labors on behalf of the associates will never be forgotten.
Posted by Sister Thadine Kaminski.O... on February 24, 2021
Thank you Nancy...I have know you a long time and it was always good to see you. You always made people feel special.
You are in prayer. Rest in peace.
Posted by Gloria Miskevics on February 24, 2021
I never met Nancy, but am a friend/co-worker to Lisa. I was impacted by Nancy's kindheartedness when she made handmade face masks for my entire family at the beginning of the pandemic. I was deeply touched she would do this for us. My family and I will always be grateful for her kindness and for helping to keep my family safe. Our condolences to the Davis family.
Posted by Linda Nylen on February 24, 2021
John and I were so shocked and saddened to hear of Nancy's passing. 
We have known Nancy and Harry for the past 40 years through our CFM group.  We have many wonderful memories from those years having shared so much of our lives. Nancy was truly an inspiration for so many reasons.  Her kindness, intelligence and spirituality will always be remembered.  We will miss her and cherish all those memories. Our thoughts and prayers are with Harry and their family. 
Posted by Henry Simon on February 24, 2021
Nancy, it’s been a l-o-n-g time since we have said hello in Joliet. But I don’t believe that death ends a relationship. So when we hopefully meet again in heaven, I suspect that I will have one step up on you, because I now have your picture to identify you among all the angels. And to the rest of family and friends, especially brother Tom!, you will all have to move over, and let me get in the long line that is constantly congratulating you, Nancy, for making it into heaven, pulling a few of us in with you!!! God bless everyone, Hank Simon
Posted by Cheryl Slabozeski on February 22, 2021
I am very sorry to hear about my cousin Nancy's passing. She was a kind and giving person.
Posted by maria kump-faren on February 22, 2021
Larry and I are saddened by your loss on your only Sister, Wife and Mother.
We did not know Nancy very well, but I sure appreciated her brochure that she had given to us when visiting our homeland in Yugoslavia where my parents lived. She also made sure that we were invited when her brother Larry and his family came so that we became more acquainted as he lives out of town.

So please accept our deepest condolences.
Maria and Larry
Posted by Thomas Polyak on February 21, 2021
It is said that the good die young... Nancy is proof that at least some of the good ones last till their 80
Posted by David Kump on February 21, 2021
Loved Nancy, loved her writing. Love all these tributes and photos. Absolutely love the photo of Nancy with my mother. Two great writers together now.
Posted by Timothy Kump on February 21, 2021
I was very saddened to learn about cousin Nancy passing away. She was such a kind person and will be greatly missed by all of us.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Julie Benesh on February 26, 2021
I met Nancy through the Organization Development Network of Chicago. Through her example she inspired me to go to Fielding to get my own PhD. After i graduated she referred me to what became my current position at the Chicago School where I was honored to become her colleague as Organizational Leadership faculty. She was a wonderful mentor to so many of us, both colleagues and literally hundreds of dissertation students. Her legacy lives on in them.
Posted by Susan Darlington on February 25, 2021
My husband, Larry and I, are remembering wonderful times with Nancy and Harry through our CFM friendship. There was the Danube River cruise in 2005, after they visited Nancy’s ancestral home in Europe. In 2008, we shared a vacation in Costa Rica. We also hosted the Davises at our former Florida condo and at our summer residence in NH. We last saw Nancy and Harry as their houseguests 3 summers ago when we visited the Chicago area from Texas, where we’ve retired. Nancy was smart, funny and faithful. She is an angel now among them!
Posted by Mary Agnes Cross on February 25, 2021
Nancy was very good to me. She and Harry saw that I got to the Associate Day of Reflection. She was a good model of St Francis and a real good leader of the Associates. 
Sr. Mary Agnes Cross
her Life

Nancy through the years, put together for her 70th Birthday

This photo montage that was put together for Mom's 70th Birthday a little over 10 years ago. She had reshared this video with family this December as she was approaching her 80th Birthday. We had some lovely conversations about the photos, the music, and how the quality of the video would be much better today.
She has had many more memories since this was put together. View the gallery for more recent photos and additional photos that are being posted by friends and family.

Nancy's own words from her memoir, A Habit of Service:

"...Harry entered my life when I had resolved that I could survive, live comfortably, and be content on my own. That my call to be a woman of service would continue and I would be fulfilled. I am forever blessed that we met, fell in love, and had the courage and commitment to marry.
My brothers three, each uniquely affectionate and loving, along with their wives, bring me great family joy. My own family, my husband, my son, Steve, and my three daughters, Becky, Terri, and Lisa, with their life-committed partners, are genuinely caring for family and me. My four grandchildren, Clay, Foster, Charlie, and Benny, fill my senior years with delight and playfulness.
I cherished my convent years. I grew into womanhood, I grew as a woman of service, I grew so I am able to love freely and fully. My continued association with the Sisters of Saint Francis of Mary Immaculate keeps me rooted in what is important - living Franciscan values in and through the Gospel...
...May women of service today find their call and their way of being in the world so that we continue to love and serve others."
Nancy Davis
A Habit of Service

Dr. Nancy Davis

When Nancy received her PhD at the age of 60, I was able to attend the ceremony in Santa Barbara, California.  I filmed her going up on stage, receiving her diploma and her acceptance speech.  I was one proud little brother. I am still searching my archives for that video... - Larry
Recent stories

My Memories of my Sister Nancy by Bill Polyak

Shared by Joanne Polyak on February 24, 2021
My sister Nancy would have wanted us all to celebrate her life. 

It made me smile to envision her being greeted by those that had passed before her; our mother, our father, our aunts and uncles, Chet and Mabel Davis, her friends, family members and so many others. 

I cannot possibly cover all of the emotions I feel. Allow me to offer just a few....

Nancy helped raise me early on, when our mother was not feeling well. In a sense, she became my second mother. She was only 10 years old when I was a baby and we bonded. Her nurturing ways grew, helping out when she could. 

When she went into the Convent, I was only seven years old. We were not allowed to see or speak with her for a year. I couldn’t understand why they would not allow me to see or talk with my sister. I cried nearly every day for that year. 

Around 1959, I saw the movie Journey to the Center of the Earth, starring Pat Boone. Nancy loved the music of Pat Boone, especially the song, “Love Letters in the Sand”. The movie had a great impact on me, an impressionable little guy. While she was in the Convent, I wrote her a child’s babbling’s on how Pat Boone became separated from his peers and lost in the caverns of an Icelandic volcano. I expressed how concerned I was that he was lost, but to my relief, finally reunited. She wrote back, “Billy, once you receive my letter, I’m confident Mr. Boone is now back with his family, happy and safe. I’m sure he would be very happy to know you cared. Love, Your Sister, Nancy.” 

In high school, I shared with her my book of poems I had written. Something deeply touched her, tears rolling down her cheeks, as she silently read my poem entitled “I Walk Alone in the Lonely Woods”. All she could say, as she looked up at me was, “This is so beautiful”. 

During her stay in the Convent, we always looked forward to visiting her on Sundays, when it was allowed. But, things were changing. When she was around 30 years old, she came home to visit. I was outside washing my car. Something wasn’t right. Her head was down and she had a forlorn look on her face. I said, “Are you okay Sis?” She didn’t respond. A few more moments passed, I put down the sponge, looked directly at her caringly and said, “Nancy, what’s wrong?” She just looked at me unable to say what age felt. Finally, I said, “Wouldn’t you be happier with a husband and children?” Then, the tears began to flow. I knew I hit a deep down feeling of being torn between duty and change. Shortly thereafter, she resigned from the Convent to begin a new life’s journey. 

She allowed me to meet some or she told me about her dating prospects, looking for any initial nay or yay’s I could provide. 

At her wedding to Harry in 1973, she demanded that my band play at their wedding. Looking back, the 8 piece band including a brass section, was loud, brash and probably very inappropriate...a far cry from polkas and waltzes. But still, this is what she wanted. 

In 1997, I had a medical procedure done in downtown Chicago. She stayed with me that night, until my surgeon released me. She always said, “I’ll always be there for you, Bill.” 

When she was in the process of earning her PhD and dissertation, I sent her a reassuring note in so many words saying that everyone was behind her on this. I wrote, “Don’t quit, YOU CAN DO THIS!” She later said that she would often look at my note right above her for encouragement when she said the process was overbearing. 

I always remember the great times and fabulous dinners she and Harry would host at their homes in LaGrange, Chicago and Aurora. My only regret moving to California was no longer being in close proximity to her. The reassurance was in knowing we would visit each other as often as we could. On the Tuesday before she passed, we talked about her coming out to visit us in California in April, to continue celebrating her 80th and other milestone family birthdays. 

I felt the unconditional love as long as I can remember. A part of me died with her. I couldn’t have asked for a more loving sister. 


Wedding Dress

Shared by Terri Mossman on February 24, 2021
You may have heard Mom share the story of her wedding dress, including the story in her memoir. Mom wore the same wedding dress in 1973 as her mother did in 1940, she added length and new lace. Then when it was time for me to get married, there wasn't any dress shopping. The only wedding dress that was ever tried on was Mom's/Grandma's. Mom and I worked together with a dressmaker to alter the dress to fit and modernize the style. That experience was a lot of fun with multiple dress fittings and collaborations on what we could do to keep its beauty and traditional elegance. I was extremely fortunate to be able to wear this gorgeous "something borrowed" wedding dress in 2004. 
Mom did mention in her memoir, "I believe it could uphold another wedding, maybe even in twenty years." 
A picture of the photo frame that has all three of us each on our wedding day in the same gown is under the Gallery Photo section.
Terri Davis Mossman - daughter of Nancy

Nancy's Quilts

Shared by Larry Polyak on February 22, 2021
In her later years, Nancy had a passion for quilting.  Many of us have one, and she had plans to make a special custom quilt for each and every family member.  Here is a picture of one her last ones, with its happy recipient - her grand niece Lucy.