March 5, 1931 ~ February 3, 2022
Resided in: Arlington, Texas
Nancy Catherine Acciarito, 90, loving wife and mother, passed away on February 3, 2022 at her home in Arlington.
Funeral Mass: 11:00 a.m. Thursday, March 3, at St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church, 1200 S. Davis Drive, Arlington. Interment: 2:15 p.m., Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery, 2000 Mountain Creek Parkway, Dallas, Lane 2. Visitation: 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 2, at Wade Family Funeral Home, 4140 W. Pioneer Parkway, Arlington.
Nan was born March 5, 1931 in Pittsburg, Texas to George and Alva Adkins Harris. Mom was a “middle child”, with an older sister, Edith, and a younger brother, Don. Mom was born into the beginning of the Great Depression, and times were lean for many people. Mom’s dad and a couple of brothers worked in the building trades. Two other brothers owned a farm, and this helped put food on the table for all the families. Mom and her sister and brother spent time helping out on the farm. We grew up hearing many times how much Mom hated digging potatoes.
When Mom was a teenager, her family moved to the Oak Cliff area of Dallas, and a new era of her life began. During these years, she worked at the Highland Park Drug Store. Mom would talk about riding the streetcar and the bus to get from Oak Cliff to Highland Park and back. The drug store was an important part of the Highland Park neighborhood. And, it was directly across from the SMU Campus. An important feature was that it had a soda fountain, and this attracted a lot of SMU students. So, these years of working in wealthy Highland Park, and exposure to a major university, plus interaction with college students, opened up a whole new world for Mom as a teenager.
During these teenage years, Mom began modeling. She graduated from a prestigious modeling school, that still exists today, seventy-five years later.
After Mom graduated from high school, she moved to New York City, and worked as a fashion model in Manhattan. When her father died a few years later, she moved back home to help her mother. When she got back to Dallas, Mom modeled for “Mr. Stanley” (Stanley Marcus) at Neiman Marcus, and at A. Harris. A. Harris was the precursor to Sanger-Harris. The Neiman Marcus families worked at A. Harris before they opened their own store in 1917. During these years, Mom also flew as a flight attendant for the original Braniff Airlines in the 1950’s.
Then, one evening at a social gathering in Dallas, a mutual friend introduced Nancy to Vito. And, the rest as they say is history-family history anyway.
Vito was smart, full of life, never met a stranger, and he was from New York, Mom’s chosen home away from Texas. He must have been pretty hard for Mom to resist. An added attraction was that he had recently been hired, upon graduation from the well-known Oklahoma University School of Architecture, by the most famous architect in Dallas history, Howard Meyer.
Vito and Nan were married in 1955. Andy arrived in 1956, and Cathy in 1957. The young family needed benefits, so Dad went to work for the part of the U.S. Government that designed, built, and managed every federal building. By the time Dad retired, he was a Regional Director responsible for every government building in five states.
Living in Farmers Branch on the edge of North Dallas, Mom and Dad were very active in the community. Dad was elected Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Commission, and Mom was Chairman of The Civil League’s Annual Charity Ball, which benefits local charities.
Religious faith was also important. Mom and Dad made sure we went to Catholic schools, and the family went to Mass every Sunday. And both Mom and Dad were active in the parish community. Andy and Cathy’s activities revolved around parish sponsored groups.
Dad’s office got transferred from Dallas to Fort Worth, and in 1969 the family moved to Arlington.
Dad designed wonderful houses for us to live in in Farmers Branch and in Arlington. And within those houses Mom made a beautiful and comfortable home, and took good care of all of us. Mom was a great cook and she provided a lifetime of amazing food. Andy always said we ate better than anyone else. There were meals she made often because we all loved them. But, she was always looking for great new recipes, and the variety of our meals were fantastic.
Dad designed a new home for us in Arlington, with much guidance from Mom, of course. It was built in a beautiful neighborhood, on a lot that sat on a small private lake. We moved into our new home on Lakeshore Drive on July 4, 1976. The United States of America’s 200th birthday became the birthday of our new family home. And Mom and Dad were blessed to continue living there for the rest of their lives.
Dad designed wonderful houses, and Mom made them a comfortable and pleasing place to live in, and a warm and inviting place for all who visited. All were welcome, and Mom and Dad were gracious hosts. They loved to have family and friends around, and there were many parties and gatherings and people visiting. Many times the house and the covered patio would be full of people enjoying the comfort of our family home, and the warmth and hospitality of its host and hostess.
Life in our home was a pleasure. The years passed. Dad took early retirement at age 57 with a pension from the government. He joined the Arlington Senior Men’s Golf Association, and played golf with his new friends there every Monday morning throughout the year. And there were many visits to the Italian Villa restaurant where many Italians and friends would congregate.
By now, Andy was a Certified Financial Planner (C.F.P.) and a Registered Investment Advisor, and owned a fee-only Financial Advisory practice in downtown Fort Worth; specializing in managing investment portfolios. Cathy had earned her architecture degree, just like Dad, with a specialty in Interior Design. She owned her own design firm in Grand Prairie, where she and her husband Don lived. Most of her work was concentrated on designing interiors for medical offices, as well as homes for individual clients.
Mom spent many years working with Cathy in her business. Cathy discovered that Mom had an incredible talent with color and fabric. So, she would often have Mom go to the Showrooms and choose the fabrics, as well as the colors for various materials for a design project. All those years of fashion modeling, as well as designing and making her own clothes, obviously nurtured a natural talent that Mom had.
The years rolled by and everyone got a little older. This beautiful and blessed life continued to be beautiful and blessed, but it got a little harder. In his 80’s Dad had some mini-strokes and needed care. Andy and Cathy helped Mom with Dad. Then, a couple of years later, Cathy got sick.
Andy took over caring for Dad while also caring for his wife Cindy with her many health problems, and also still running his business from home now. Andy retired and closed his business 11 years ago, and spent every day taking care of his family. Dad was now living with Andy and Cindy to make it easier for Mom. Cathy’s husband Don retired and took care of her at home. Six years ago, Mom needed help. Andy would come over and check on her, run errands, pay her bills, buy her food. Four years ago, Mom needed full time care. Andy, Cindy and Dad moved back into the family home to take care of Mom. Andy arranged for an agency of house call doctors for Mom, Dad, and Cindy, so everyone had regular medical visits every month. Some neighbors arranged for meals on wheels to be delivered five days a week. Andy took care of everything else. Dad died peacefully at home with his family in 2018, and Cathy died at home with Don in 2021. Mom joined them February 3, 2022. All of them were blessed to live out their lives in their own homes, cared for by those who loved them. A beautiful and blessed life to the end.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, George Harris and Alva Adkins Harris; siblings, Edith Kennedy and Don Harris; loving husband, Vito Anthony Acciarito; and daughter, Cathy Acciarito Williams.
Survivors: Son, Andy Acciarito and wife, Cindy; and son-in-law, Don Williams.
Funeral Mass: Thursday, March 3, 2022 11:00 am
St. Maria Goretti Catholic Church
1200 South Davis Drive
Arlington, TX 76013
Interment: Thursday, March 3, 2022 2:15 pm
Dallas/Fort Worth National Cemetery
2000 Mountain Creek Parkway
Dallas, TX 75211