Nancy Jean (Manfred) Echelbarger, passed away unexpectedly on June 25th, 2018, at the age of 69. Nancy was preceded in death by her brother Dennis Charles Manfred and her parents Charles and Rita Manfred. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Ben Echelbarger, her son Jason (Denise) Echelbarger, her daughter Jodie (Damon) Dewey, her sister Judy Manfred and her wonderful grandchildren Kimberly, Madalyn, Cade and Connor.
Nancy was born on November 25, 1948 in Spokane, WA and was raised in Lenore and Genesee Idaho, graduating from Genesee High School in 1967. She attended Kinman Business University where she graduated and became a medical secretary. She married Ben in 1970 and made a home in the Spokane Valley where they welcomed their son, Jason and three years later their daughter Jodie. The family then relocated to their current residence near Reardan, WA.
Nancy was able to complete her dreams of becoming a nurse after her children started school. She graduated from Eastern Washington University with a B.S. in Nursing and was accepted into the Intercollegiate School of Nursing where she graduated as a Registered Nurse (RN). Nancy dedicated over 32 years to a career in serving public health and supporting treatment for substance misuse. Her original home health care caseload included the first AIDS infant in Spokane County and many children that were affected by substance and child abuse. After 17 years as the Director of Substance Misuse at the Spokane County Regional Health District, Nancy went on to Pioneer Center East to manage a subacute detox unit and worked until her death at the Spokane Addictive Recovery Center as a triage nurse. Nancy was proud to be one of the original implementors of The Hope House which is a safe haven and emergency shelter for women on the streets. She also volunteered many hours at the Crosswalk Teen Shelter. Nancy was an accomplished health care professional and provided the best possible care to her patients, family and neighbors.
Nancy was a generous individual who loved to help those in need, and who was passionate about promoting a safe haven for children. Her children remember her as a loving mother who always supported them and encouraged them to pursue their goals. She was an active and dedicated grandmother, supporting AAU basketball, school events and 4-H livestock shows. She also loved to spend time working in her yard. Always ready to lend a helping hand with family celebrations, her kindness will be missed.
A memorial service is scheduled for July 12, 2018 at 2:00 p.m. at Hennessy Funeral Home & Crematory at 2203 N. Division St. Spokane, WA, with a reception to follow. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Nancy’s life. Nancy requested that in lieu of flowers that you do a random act of kindness or send donations to the Crosswalk Teen Shelter at voaspokane.org/donate or Volunteers of America, 525 W 2nd Ave, Spokane, WA 99201.