Nancy B Dunleavy, 84, of Ocala, FL passed away on Thursday, September 24, 2020, after a
period of declining health, while a resident of Avante nursing home in Ocala. She was the
beloved wife of the late Raymond Dunleavy, who died in 2017, for more than 59 years.
Nancy was born on August 24, 1936, oldest child of the late Joseph and Nancy (Foglia)
Burgatti of Winchester, MA.
Upon graduation from Marycliff Academy in Winchester, Nancy attended Pembroke
College at Brown University (being the “smart” one in the family), and graduated with a
French language degree, in 1958, and married Raymond that summer.
Nancy’s life with Ray involved a willingness to work and move up and down the eastern
seaboard their whole lives.
Beginning their married life in an apartment in Jamaica, NY, they shortly were able to own
their first home in Bellerose, NY. During these early years, they allowed their mutual
interest in the raising and breeding of Sealyham terriers to take root, an interest that
would be a large part of their world for over 50 years.
In the early 1960s, they relocated to Cherry Hill, NJ, to accommodate Ray’s new position
in Philadelphia banking. In Cherry Hill, Nancy and Ray started their own kennel, Cherrydun,
and began the serious hobby of breeding their much-loved Sealyhams. Throughout this
period, Nancy also extended her lifelong interest in volunteerism, especially to a those
most in need.
By the end of the 1960s, the couple had relocated yet again, this time to Stratford, Ct.,
where Ray could work in finance in Bridgeport while they extended their interests to
include the arts. Being within walking distance of the Stratford-upon-Avon Summer
theatre, they opened their home to house actors doing summer stock.
Towards the end of the 1970s, a great change occurred in their lives: they took on the
challenge of raising four foster children, ages 12 to 19. At the same time, they decided to
move everyone to Miami, for a great job opportunity for Ray at SunBank. So in 1980, they
all went south and after settling in, Nancy went to work for the US passport office in
Nonetheless, they continue to raise Sealyhams, raise and educate their foster children,
and do volunteer work, such as Red Cross aid and church work for the local Episcopal
Church. Nancy was also a docent for the Miami Dade County Metrozoo, where their
generous donations, as well as efforts as volunteers, can still be recognized by a bench
with their names on it next to the Monkey House. They also developed an interest in the
Airedale rescue project in South Florida. Both Nancy and Ray served, at one time or
another, as various officers of numerous terrier clubs for both Sealyhams and Airedales in
Florida. By 1992, as the last of the foster children moved on, they faced the challenge of
surviving and rebuilding after hurricane Andrew devastated the Miami area.
In turn, they opted to move up the coast to Palm City in 1999, to enjoy their Sealys and
rescue Airedale while Ray moved on to the stockbroker business and both continued to
volunteer, especially in politics, multiple issues concerning inequality and injustices against
women, and did so both physically and financially.
In 2002, Nancy made room for our sister, Valerie, in her home and took over as her
guardian. This act of love was not made any easier by the three of them finding
themselves at the center of three hurricanes in 18 months.
At this point, as Raymond retired, they moved in 2006, to Ocala, where they had numerous
friends and would make many more.
Ocala, the final stop on their east coast life tour, for the last 14 years, welcomed them
and, as always, Nancy had no problem fitting right in. They were volunteers again with
domestic violence against women high on her agenda, her many years of service to the
League of Women Voters, her close contact and support for Grace Episcopal Church needs,
her support of PACE in Ocala, and more. Meanwhile, she continued to interview prospective
high school students for Brown University while maintaining her lifelong interest in dogs,
and especially Sealyhams. Over the years, she advanced from a breeder and trainer, to
judge and mentor.
Nancy was predeceased by her parents, Joseph and Nancy Burgatti, and by her late
husband, Raymond. She is survived by her beloved sister, Valerie Burgatti of Ocala, FL, her
brother, Joseph Burgatti of Hollis, NH, her brother and sister-in-law, Thomas and Patricia
Dunleavy, of Oxford, Ct. and six nieces and nephews and their families, as well as her
cousins Paul and Marcia Cavazzoni of N. Reading, MA, and their sons, Andrew and Benjamin,
her cousin, Edwin Borsari of Kingston, MA, her cousins, James Stewart, and Robert
Stewart of West Suffield, Ct. and their families.
There will be a Funeral Service on Saturday, November 14, 2020, at 10 AM,
at Grace Episcopal Church in Ocala. For those attending, social
distancing and masks are required. The service will also be live
streamed on YouTube.com for those not able to attend in person.
Go to graceocala.com, or find it on Facebook, and click on the live
streaming YouTube link. The recorded service will be available for
viewing at anytime on the Grace Episcopal Church YouTube channel.
The cremated remains will be interred in the churchyard to follow the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any of the following:
American Sealyham Terrier Club, ℅: Marie Johnston, 5340 Holmes Run Pky-104,
Alexandria, VA, 22304
Sunshine Airedalers of Florida, 401 Althea Rd, Belleair, Fl., 33756
PACE Center for Girls-Marion, 328 NE 1st Ave, Suite 500, Ocala, Fl, 34470
Grace Episcopal Church, 510 SE Broadway St, Ocala, Fl, 34471