Written by Joe Rizza Friday, 21 August 2009 00:00
The Mineola community was shocked to hear of the passing of Nancy Portoghese Bauer, who died suddenly on August 9 at the age of 47. Nancy ran her own business, Future Realty Management, and also found the time to be involved in many groups and activities in Mineola.
Among the organizations she was involved in was the Mineola Chamber of Commerce, where she served as a member of the chamber’s board of directors. Each May, during the Mineola Fair, as the volunteer chairperson, Nancy could be seen in Memorial Park, doing her best to make sure the fair ran smoothly. She also served as the chair of the scholarship committee as the chamber awarded scholarships each year to a Mineola High School and Chaminade High School graduate.
“She was a person that was always there. No matter what event we were looking to put together, she was always one of the first ones to raise her hand and say, ‘I’ll be a part of that committee.’ It was more than just the chamber. She was involved in all these organizations around the town. I don’t know how to did it,” said Steve Ford of Willis Hobbies, the immediate past president of the chamber. “It is a big loss to Mineola. She was such an energetic person and she really cared about the community.”
Her efforts with the chamber of commerce were recognized in 2004 when Nancy was named the Business Person of the Year for all of her efforts in promoting business in Mineola and for all of her service to the community.
“Nancy was a truly giving person, thriving on the energy she created. She will leave a deep void in the many organizations she served and the people she touched. Godspeed, Nancy,” said Teri Ranfone, a past president of the chamber.
Ray Sikorski of Origin Press, the current president of the chamber of commerce, has nothing but fond memories of Nancy. “She was a very giving person. She would always volunteer to help out. She will be missed,” he said. “She would always walk into a room and you knew she was there. She was just a great soul.”
In addition to her commitment to the chamber of commerce, Nancy also sang in the choir for the Corpus Christi Church.
Nancy also believed in service to village and worked toward improving the Mineola community pool, known as the John S. DaVanzo Community Pool, as well as the recreation program in the village by serving on the village’s pool and recreation board.
“People are going to miss her more when they start looking for things done because she always took care of so many different things for so many different organizations,” said Mineola Mayor Jack M. Martins. “She was not only just somebody who belonged, she was [often] the point person. She is going to be missed.”
Her interest in serving in the village government led Nancy to run for village trustee in 2006. Although she was unsuccessful in her bid, she remained active in politics and government, serving as president of the John S. DaVanzo Mineola Republican Club. DaVanzo recalled how Nancy used to come to him for advice. Last year, she was honored as a Woman of Distinction by Assemblyman Tom McKevitt.
Friend Russ Sutherland saw Nancy as one of the key figures in the Republican Party in Mineola. “She put in considerable hours and effort, hard work and whatever it took. Whatever was required for the good of the party, she did,” he said.
Other organizations she was involved in included Kiwanis Club of County Seat and the Mineola-Garden City Rotary Club.
Although Nancy was involved in many different organizations, her generosity and her desire to do what was best for the community remained a constant.
She is survived by her husband Thomas, father Paul and sister Grace Lovallo (Matthew) and joins her mother Grace in Heaven.