Lucille Clancy always tries new things

By Daniel Nash

Staff Writer

At 92 years old, Lucille Clancy is one of the elder members of the Bonney Lake Senior Center. She’s picked up a few stories along the way, stories that have taken settings as varied as Canada, the American midwest, southern California and Hawaii.

Clancy was born in the Saskatchewan province of Canada in 1918, her father having just been sent from the States to work in a hardware store. She was raised in Canada until the age of four, when she and her family moved to Oto, Iowa.

Oto was a burg of 300 that lived up to some of the expected small town ideals, Clancy said.

“It was an easy childhood,” she said. “We had good playtime, nice people around town and large families. Large families were pretty usual back then.”

Clancy herself was the oldest of 13 children. Growing up in a big family was allright, she said, but sometimes she wished there weren’t so many people in the family. As the oldest, she was involved in some of the care for her younger siblings.

She put that experience to work once she reached her teen years, babysitting and housekeeping for $3 a week.

“It put me through high school,” she said. “It was money I could use just for expenses and school clothes. Schools didn’t give us everything: the books were furnished to us, so the money just bought pencils and paper.”

Clancy matriculated with a graduating class of 13 students in the mid-1930s. She subsequently moved 40 miles northwest to Sioux City.

It was in Sioux City she met her future husband, Floyd Clancy, at a party. Her future husband was a featherweight prize fighter known by his nickname Billy.

“He won quite a few fights,” Clancy said. “It was all right (dating a boxer). He wasn’t a bit obnoxious or anything that I would have expected from someone who did what he did.”

He quit boxing soon after the two were married in 1939. Together they had three children: a daughter and two sons, each one born more than a decade apart.

Floyd moved on from boxing to aeronautics, working for Lockheed Martin. The job took the Clancy family to southern California, followed by Hawaii. During the nine years they lived in Honolulu, most of it was spent on a sail boat.

“We tried living in an apartment for the firstyear,” Clancy said. “We just preferred a boat. The boys went to school barefooted in shorts. It was always nice, we didn’t have to dress up to stay warm. If anyone fell in the water, we just jumped in to hold them up.”

Eventually they returned to mainland California. When Clancy’s oldest son was of age to enter college, she decided to try something new and enrolled with him. While the junior Clancy studied to become a mechanical engineer, his mother earned her degree to qualify as a vocational nurse.

“It was fun even though I was a lot older,” she said. “I loved it because I wanted to even go when I was out of high school. But I didn’t have money at that time.”

Clancy’s training took her to Lancaster Hospital first, before she found her true calling: working with seniors. She became charge nurse at a nursing home, a job she fulfilled for nearly 20 years.

“I loved it, mainly because of the older people,” she said. “I was in my 40s or 50s at the time and we just got along great.

“I just miss the people, the older people. I think they appreciated it. Many of them had hard lives and they just enjoyed being waited on.”

More in Life

Enumclaw High hosts 7th annual Empty Bowls event

The event, held at Enumclaw High School, will help fund the Enumclaw Food Bank and Plateau Outreach Ministries.

A modern fairytale with a twist

He did it on one knee. One knee, with a nervous grin… Continue reading

Read the first two books before tackling ‘Banished’

Well, look at you. And you do — ten times a day,… Continue reading

Buckley Kiwanis names Students of the Month

For January, students from White River High School, Glacier Middle School and Carbonado Historical School District were chosen.

How to keep The Courier-Herald visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections, and you might see less news. Here’s how you can fix that.

A small act of kindness can make a big impact | SoHaPP

Join SoHaPP’s book group this February to discuss “Wonder” by R.J. Palacio. Don’t have the book? Check it out at the Enumclaw Library or visit The Sequel.

This book will WOW you | Point of Review

Wow. Just… wow. Did you see that? Wasn’t it awesome? It was… Continue reading

EHS graduate McNab promoted to Lieutenant Colonel

Tom McNab was recently promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the United States Air Force.

White River Valley Museum opens “Suffer for Beauty” exhibit

Corsets, bras, and bustles, oh my! The White River Valley Museum is hosting its new event, “Suffer for Beauty,” which is all about the changing ideals of female beauty through the ages. The exhibit runs through June 17.

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

‘School of Awake’ offers advice to adolescent girls

Twinkle, twinkle. For as long as you can remember, you’ve known how… Continue reading

Mental health first aid training in Enumclaw | The Summit

Friday, January 19 at 7 p.m., Dr. Michelle Bengtson will kick off the mental health-themed weekend by speaking on Hope for Depression: The World’s Greatest Epidemic. Dr. Bengtson is the author of the award winning “Hope Prevails: Insights from a Doctor’s Personal Journey through Depression.”