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Nancy Jane Wesner Donati
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Obituary for Nancy Jane Wesner Donati

Our beautiful mom, Nancy Jane Wesner Donati, 79, of Santa Maria, CA passed away peacefully on January 21, 2018. She was surrounded by her loving family.

Nancy was born July 18, 1938 in Pendleton, OR to Frances Jane and Kenneth Beales. She was the oldest of two children. Her family settled in Oxnard, CA when Nancy and her sister, Mimi were young girls. Nancy graduated from Oxnard High School in 1956 and attended Ventura College. While growing up in Oxnard, Nancy participated in various beauty competitions. In May of 1954, Nancy was a Princess at the Cotton Festival dance at Oxnard High School and in 1956, she was crowned Queen Nancy Beales of the Oxnard Community Fair. Her coronation ceremony took place at the coronation ball held at the Oxnard Elks Club. As Queen, Nancy received a complete set of luggage, a wardrobe and nearly $200 worth of merchandise.
Shortly after, our beauty queen met our father, James F. Wesner, and they were married on February 6, 1960. They moved to Santa Maria, CA where Jim worked construction and Nancy was a bank teller at Santa Maria Savings and Loan. She worked there off and on until 1965. In 1966 Nancy gave birth to her first son, James Jr. and two more boys followed: David was born in 1969 and Jon in 1971. Nancy's 3 sons kept her very busy, but she still managed to be actively involved with the Santa Maria Civic Theatre.
Our beauty queen made her acting debut in the play "Impromptu." From there, she went on to meatier roles in "The Girls in 509," the lead in "Goodbye Charlie", "Man in The Dog Suit", and her unforgettable role in "Ninety-Day Mistress". Nancy's ease and light on the stage never went unnoticed. Her final performances were “Dearly Beloved” and “Christmas Belles” in 2013 where she played the comedic role of Patsy Price.
When Nancy wasn’t acting, she worked hospitality for the theatre and even modeled in local fashion shows. She was an avid reader, played tennis with the Santa Maria Valley Tennis Club, bowled in various leagues, supported the SMV Humane Society and the Altrusa Club. Nancy is best known for her tap dancing skills. She was a dancer at Adkins School of Dance and passed on her love of dance to several of her granddaughters. We are also certain she passed on her fashion sense which comes as no surprise since Nan was easily the best dressed lady in Santa Maria.

Nancy was also a glowing part of the Catholic community in Santa Maria and Orcutt. She was strong in her faith and loved the Lord. After teaching CCD classes at St Louis de Montfort Church for many years, we are certain every Catholic kid in town knows our Nan. She was a favorite among many.

In 1979, Nancy married Richard (Dick) Donati. She became part of the Guadalupe and Santa Maria farming community. Together, they owned and operated Rancho Guadalupe.

Nancy had many hobbies, but her true passion was her family. Her boys were her everything. She was always volunteering, chaperoning or playing “Team Mom” for multiple sports at a time. When her sons began to have children, like any former Beauty Queen, she refused to be called Grandma. She proudly referred to herself as “Nan” which is how we refer to her today. Her grandchildren were the light of her life and they adored her as much as she adored them.

Nancy was a beloved wife, mom, Nan, sister, aunt and friend. Her philanthropy and community involvement made her a friend and mentor to many. She was loved by everyone she came into contact with and we will truly miss her glowing spirit.

Nan is survived by her sons and their spouses; James and Lisa Wesner of Santa Maria, David and Janelle Wesner of Templeton, Jon and Janeen Wesner of Santa Maria, and her grandchildren Sierra, Dylan, Spencer, Taylor, Marina, Owen, Malia, Aidan & Grace Wesner and niece, Emma Modisette.

She is preceded in death by her parents, her sister Mimi in 2001 and first husband, James Wesner in 2015.

Visitation will be held at Dudley-Hoffman Mortuary on Friday, February 2, 2018 at 5:30 PM with Rosary following at 6:30 PM. Mass will take place on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 11:00 AM at St Louis de Montfort Catholic Church. A celebration of Nan’s life will follow the mass at the Santa Maria Country Club.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Nancy’s memory to the following organizations,

NANCY DONATI "FOR THE LOVE OF DANCE" SCHOLARSHIP at Adkins Dance Center. Please make checks payable to Adkins Dance Scholarship and mail to Adkins Dance Center, 1108 E. Clark Ave, Ste. 190, Santa Maria, CA 93455.

SMV Humane Society
1687 W. Stowell Road
Santa Maria, CA 93458-9719

Orcutt Community Theater
423 Ferndale Drive
Santa Maria CA 93455


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