Nancy Davis Pratviel, October 8, 1937-March 29. 2014
Nancy Davis Pratviel died Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the Davis Family homestead in Norwich, CT. at the age of 76. She was born to John M. Davis, Sr. and Alice B. Davis in Norwich, CT on October 8, 1937. She is survived by her only child, Mary Alice Pratviel Bailey and Mary Alice's husband Donald Ray Bailey, of Marshall, Texas as well as her remaining brothers, John M. Davis Jr. of Preston, CT, Andrew G. Davis, Sr. of Sterling, CT and David T. Davis of Norwich, CT and a large community of family and friends. Her husband, Emile Prativel, died in 1972.
Nancy Pratviel's life was defined by service to others, both at home and abroad. After graduating from the Backus School of Nursing in 1958 she earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Vermont, before beginning her nursing career at Backus Hospital, a place to which she would return. But no matter where she was in her professional or personal life, the emphasis of her life was on helping others.
In 1963, she joined Care Medico, assigned to Viet Nam, but the village was bombed before she could report for service, and she was redirected to Tunisia, which changed not only her mission but her life as it was in Africa that she met her husband, Emile. After Nancy's time with Care Medico, she and Emile travelled northwest Africa under the guidance of the Missionaries of Africa. With the mission's support and direction, the couple provided medicines and help digging wells as well as photographing and documenting the lives of tribal Africans. Their work caught the attention of Jacques Cousteau, who based on their stories and photography, created a documentary of a fishing village in Mauritania. After a decade, Nancy and Emile returned to the United States and shortly thereafter, Emile died. For the remainder of her life, Nancy continued to raise funds in the US to send back to the tribal villages and to speak and present slide shows about the areas where she and Emile had worked.
Following a brief stint in hospital administration at Backus Hospital, Nancy began working with Norwich Neurosurgeon Dr. Mario Sculco. For the next thirty three years she assisted him in surgery and was referred to as his right hand, caring for neurosurgical patients in southeastern CT. After retirement, Nancy continued her nursing career at the Norwich Senior Center, where she worked until this past July when her health no longer permitted.
In her personal time, Nancy could often be found answering the phone and the door, providing medical counseling and treatment to the numerous family, friends and their loved ones who sought her out.
It is hard to measure the effect that one person's life may have, or the number of people whose lives were made better for having known Nancy Pratviel.
A committal service will be held on Monday April 7th from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Maplewood Cemetery, 184 Salem Turnpike, Norwich, CT followed by a celebration of life from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Rose Hill Senior Center, 8 Mahan Drive, Norwich. CT. Please visit www.churchandallen.com
to leave an online condolence for the Pratviel family.