Nancy Coram

Obituary of Nancy Coram

Coram, Nancy Jane, age 87, died peacefully at her home in St. Petersburg, April 21, 2023, having been cared for by her sister and Suncoast Hospice.  

Born in Chicago, Illinois. baptised in the Church of St. John, St. Marys, WV and confirmed in St. Francis deSales Catholic Church,  Beckley, WV. She was raised in Beckley, and graduated  from Woodrow Wilson High School in 1953.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. James M. Coram of St. Marys, and Gwendolyn R. Coram of Des Moines, Iowa.  Nancy is survived by her sister Judith Coram and brother James Coram. Nancy's career choice was to become a Registered Nurse, which she accomplished after her 21st birthday.  Nancy graduated with  a BSN  (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) 1956, from the University of Maryland School of Nursing, Baltimore, Maryland.  She was proud to wear the Florence Nightingale cap of  point d'esprit lace, referred to as "The Flossie", in honor of the cap's originator.  Nancy enrolled in specialized training, learning to care for and treat  open-heart surgical patients; training given by Dr. Cowley, founder of the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center and the Maryland EMS System of Baltimore, MD.  Nancy was first employed by Grace Lines, as ship's nurse aboard the elegant Santa Paula, which made luxury cruises to the Caribbean and South America. Returning to Baltimore, Nancy worked as staff nurse for the US Public Health Hospital and later as a head nurse for Johns Hopkins Hospital.  Nancy did a summer interim as one of two nurses on duty at Camp Deerwood on Squam Lake, Holderness, NH.  Once again, Nancy became a traveling nurse, this time aboard Seaboard Coastline Railroad, making trips for seven years, from New York to Miami and St. Petersburg.  While living in New York, Nancy made a guest appearance on "What's My Line?", trying to stump the panelists.  In 1971 the railroad became Amtrak, and the nurses' jobs were eliminated.  Nancy chose to make her home in St. Petersburg and began working  in the recovery room at Bayfront Medical Center.  From 1974 until retirement in 1998, Nancy was employed by the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Bay Pines, Florida, working in the ICU and the recovery room.  During her career as a critical care nurse, both doctors and nurses who associated with her, gave glowing reports of Nancy's skills in patient care. 

Nancy was certified Medical / Surgical Nurse by the American Nurses Association and certified PAN (Post Anesthesia Nurse) by the American Association of Post Anesthesia Nurses; also certified in  ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support) and in BLS (Basic Life Support).  During a family gathering, Nancy's sister had a choking episode and Nancy quickly did maneuvers to stop the choking

While a member of Florida Society of PAN , she served on the board of directors and  as state representative, traveling the state.  Other memberships included American Society  PAN and Pinellas Association PAN.  

Nancy wrote the booklet, "To Help Families Cope With The SICU (Surgical Intensive Care Unit) Experience", along with writing and directing two teaching videos, "SICU Images" and "Someone To Watch Over Me".  She also wrote various articles for the quarterly paper, "Soarings".  Nancy was a mentor to RN students and Nurse Expert in SICU and post anesthesia care to other departments. She received a "Team Excellence Award" for her work on a patient project which made a difference in the Veterans Medical Center.   

Nancy looked forward to annual Sanibel Island vacations with her mother, brother, sister and friend Marsha.  Making well planned trips in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Mexico, she enjoyed traveling as a tourist with family and friends.  Nancy's  friend, Shirley and she attended Florida Orchestra concerts, discussing the concert selections over their lunches. Also, Shirley and Nancy were both enthusiastic bridge players. She frequented current art exhibits and  browsed craft shows.  Among Nancy's other friends were Patricia, her hair stylist of forty plus years, and Sue and Mary, her companions for bicycle riding on the trails in Pinellas County.  Each December, Nancy held a Christmas luncheon and cookie party, when she could use her skills as a chef, assisted by friend Tammy.  Her guests left in good spirits, each carrying a dozen cookies, obtained from a secret drawing.   Decades after graduating,there was a happy reunion in St. Petersburg with Lou Ann, a classmate at the University of Maryland School of Nursing.  

When Nancy was a high school student, her father taught her how to diagram the plays after attending the  "Flying Eagles" football games.   Thereafter, she developed a keen interest in watching  football, both college and professional.   At various times, Nancy, with an eye for color, created paintings,using watercolors or pastels; also she busied herself with embroidery and jewelry-making.  An avid photographer, her still life photograph became grand prize winner in a seven state competition.  Another photo won first prize in a local competition. In 1997 The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History held an exhibit, "The American Families In Photographs".  From thousands of entries, the judges selected Nancy's photo of her mother and sister sitting in a swing at War Veterans Memorial Park.  Her favorite photos were those which she took of a white swan and one featured in the 1995 "Federal Practitioner", a Calendar and Meeting Guide for VA, DOD and PHS health care professionals.  This photo showed the hospital dock at Boca Ciega.

Because of her fondness for cats, Nancy volunteered to care for the felines   at "Friends of Strays", St. Petersburg's oldest no-kill animal shelter.  With Nancy's help, several of her friends adopted cats from the shelter.  Her own pets were siamese cats, having such names as Kachina, Neglie and Serendipity.

An individual who was once introduced to Nancy, later said of her, "She does not know a stranger". 

Nancy, as a caring giver in life, gifted her body to science in order to help others.

Burial Services will follow at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to:

Friends of Strays, INC

2911 49th avenue, N.

St. Petersburg. FL 33714


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Nancy Coram, please visit Tribute Store

Memorial Mass

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, August 19, 2023
Holy Cross Catholic Church
7851 54th Ave N,
St. Petersburg, Florida, United States
Share Your Memory of