Nancy Irene Wanjiru Ngaruiya, age 56 years, of Dover, DE, passed from her earthly home to her heavenly home on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 in the Hunterdon Medical Center, Raritan Township, NJ, surrounded by her loving family after a valiant one year battle against pancreatic cancer; a battle which may have claimed her physical life on Earth, but one which never shook her foundation of faith and love of family and friends.
Born in the Kin’geero Village in Kiambu, Kenya, January 3, 1962, Nancy was the daughter of Benjamin and Grace Wahu Machara Ngaruiya of Kenya. At the age of six, Nancy moved to Gatuanabu Village in Kikuyu, Kenya. She emigrated to the United States in 1994, where she first lived in Lowell, MA before moving to Irvington, NJ then Roselle Park, NJ. She settled in Delaware in 2010.
Nancy attended Kin’geero Primary school and later Mary Leakey Girls’ High School where she was an active member of the Christian Union. Upon graduation, she worked at East African Industries and later, at Barclays Bank on Moi Avenue as a cashier. Upon coming to the United States, she followed her lifelong dream and graduated with honors from Felician College, Rutherford, NJ with a B.S. in Nursing.
An I.C.U. nurse, Nancy’s calming voice and big heart, coupled with her technical skills, made her a favorite amongst her patients. She had formerly worked at Union Hospital and Newark-Beth Israel Hospital prior to moving to Delaware where she has been working at Bayhealth Medical Center in Milford. The writer Ariel Jacoby once wrote, “Becoming a nurse is one of the most selfless acts a person can undertake. In a society of so many different races, cultures, customs, and beliefs, nurses are a universal gift to all, and the dedicated work that they do and kindness they deliver on a daily basis should serve as a reminder of the fundamental humanity inside us all.” This fundamental humanity is what drove Nancy not just in nursing, but in all aspects of her life.
Nancy can be described many ways, but the term, “Renaissance Woman” would describe her personality the best. A Christian woman of devout faith, she believed that education, hard work and simple kindness to others was the path to living a happy life.
She was an accomplished author, having composed many poems about Life and also writing for technical publications, most recently having an article on working in elder care facilities published in the American Journal of Nursing.
A family woman, Nancy was always doing things that would assist those she loved. Her pride and joy was her daughter, Christine, whom she raised to be loving, faithful, generous, independent and above all else, caring.
Children’s issues held a special place in Nancy’s heart and she was forever trying to improve the lives of any child she came into contact with. She believed that all children just needed love and the basics to become good world citizens and every single one deserved that opportunity.
Mahatma Ghandi once said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” The legacy of Nancy Ngaruiya is summed up by those words, as all she did, she did in faith, love, and humble service to better mankind.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Aileen Wanjiru.
In addition to her devoted parents, surviving are her beloved daughter, Christine Eva Benjamin; her cherished siblings and their spouses, Jennifer Ngaruiya, Olive Ngaruiya, Robert and his wife, Mary Ngaruiya, Margaret (Polly) and her husband, Joseph Gatua, Drs. Esther and her husband, Paul Masaba, Dr. Beatrice Ngaruiya, Agnes and her husband, Wellington Nyamangwanda and Grace and her husband, Joseph Muhuni; many nieces, nephews, cousins and extended family, both in the United States and Africa; “Boots”, her adored cat; many friends; and her many patients and their families with whom she formed a special bond with over the years she spent as a Registered Nurse.
A celebration of Nancy’s life and accession into heaven will take place on Monday, January 15, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. in Wright & Ford Family Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 38 State Highway 31, Flemington, NJ.
Burial in Cherryville Cemetery, Cherryville, NJ, will follow the service on Monday.
Nancy will lie in repose at the funeral home on Sunday, January 14, 2018 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. and on Monday, January 15, 2018 from 10:00-11:00 a.m. and all are welcome to pay homage to this woman who touched so many for the better.