EPHRAIM – “What do you say about a woman who has touched so many lives,” said Hannah Lewis, daughter of this year’s Emily Braithwaite Woman of Service Award.
In front of a standing ovation, Nancy Bean of Manti was presented with a bouquet of flowers and a plaque at the Miss Sanpete Pageant on Saturday, Aug. 7 at the Snow College Eccles Center.
The award is named for Emily Braithwaite, who was an attendant to Miss Sanpete and later held the title of Miss Sanpete.
From 2003 until she passed of lupus in 2015 at the age of 34, Braithwaite was involved as a contestant, board member, volunteer and mentor with the Miss Sanpete organization. Bean is the third recipient of this award.
Alvin Bean and Nancy were married in 1993 and combined their families from previous relationships, four from him, and five from her. They then had one child of their own, making the total of 10 before adoptions. They adopted four children throughout the years. The foster kids are not to be left out. There are a total of at least 15 children from whom she fostered.
“Service in our community is one way that she instilled in us working together as a team,” her daughter said.
She has been involved in the original clothing bank and interpreting for the deaf.
Nancy’s service orientation did not start with foster care. All her children have memories of her taking in “strays.” She always said, “We will just add more water to the soup.”
Nancy’s home was a regular place of refuge for her 10 children, four adopted children and many foster children and friends.
Her family counts taking in over 100 individuals. She served in many callings in her church, including scouts and young women’s, as well as primary for many, many years. She was part of the Manti Mormon Miracle pageant as a cast member, but mostly as a taxi service getting kids to and from practice and performances over the years.
Her most recent service in the community surrounds doing cluster post adoption classes, and The Resource Clothing Bank.
As a part of her drive to help those in need, especially the foster care community, she petitioned and educated about the foster care system. She talked to Utah senators and representatives about the laws surrounding foster care in meetings located in Pennsylvania, Long Island and D.C.
Nancy’s friend, Darcie Dickinson, said that Nancy has a big heart and an understanding that most people don’t have for hard situations. She always pulls out of whatever is happening and ends up with a go to attitude and a positive smile, even when she is trying to convince herself that all will be alright.
“Nancy is one of my heroes,” said Dickinson. “She is human; but has the ability to reset and keep fighting on for the better and tries to smile while doing it.”