Nancy Jane Garbart Friend, 80, of Bruceton Mills, West Virginia passed away at her home surrounded by her loving family, on March 20, 2022, after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease.
Nancy was born July 15, 1941, in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in Fayette County. She was the daughter of the late Paul Edward Garbart and Helen Lucille (Hagen) Garbart.
Her family moved to Kingwood in the 1950’s when she was in elementary school so her father could be closer to his business interests. She graduated from Kingwood High School in 1959 and attended West Virginia University. Nancy married Daniel James Friend, from Fairchance, Pennsylvania on June 10th, 1961. Daniel was an active member of the U.S. Navy and stationed in Ridge, Maryland, where they made their first home. After leaving military service the couple moved back to Kingwood where they resided until 1995, at which time they moved to their home at Big Bear Lake, near Bruceton Mills. Nancy spent most of her early life caring for her four children and lending a helping hand to the many business pursuits of her father. Family weekends were often spent at her childhood summer home at Lake-O-Woods, near Bruceton Mills, WV. She also enjoyed the family time spent with her brother and sister-in-law at Deep Creek Lake in Maryland. Family gatherings were an important part of her life. She also led Girl Scout troops, was an avid bird watcher, enjoyed walking and biking in the woods, and loved her pets with her whole heart. She was a devout Catholic and was a member of St. Sebastian Catholic Church in Kingwood and Mary Help of Christians in Bruceton Mills. When Nancy was a young woman, she is said to have been the first female lifeguard at the Kingwood pool. As her children grew, she began a new chapter in her life by becoming employed in one of her father’s businesses, Big Bear Lake Camplands, in Preston County. Nancy held a variety of positions in the camplands from a comfort station cleaning lady, to eventually being named the owner and CEO after her father’s sudden death in 1984. Becoming the CEO of a local business gave her the opportunity to become a member of many community business organizations. She enjoyed actively participating in the Preston County Chamber of Commerce, the Preston County Convention and Visitors Bureau, Preston County Economic Council, and the Preston County Republican Executive Committee. Throughout her tenure of owning Big Bear Lake, the business was given many awards and wide recognition. The business thrives in Preston County and continues to provide employment and recreation to the community and surrounding areas. This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the camplands that her father dreamed of and developed. Under Nancy’s leadership, Big Bear Lake has provided a special place for generations of camping families to make lifelong memories.
Nancy is survived by her four children; Julie Ann Schooley, and husband Mark of Reedsville, Danna Friend, and companion Robert Fraser of Bruceton Mills, Susan Myers, and husband Bill of Bruceton Mills, Joseph Edward Friend, and wife Angie of Bruceton Mills; five grandchildren, Adel Schooley of Bruceton, Tara and husband Bruce Helsley of Kingwood, Amanda Darby and husband Jim of Bruceton Mills. Nicholas Myers and companion Machell Thomas, of Kingwood, and Whitney Feghali and husband Dr. Christopher Feghali, of Morgantown; and nine great-grandchildren.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Daniel James Friend and brother Paul Lawrence (Larry) Garbart.
The family would like to express their sincere gratitude and appreciation to the tender loving caregivers who helped Nancy enjoy her life with Parkinson’s to the fullest. A special thank you to Julianne Morton, her loyal companion and caregiver who ensured Nancy traveled to her many appointments, lunch dates, hair, nails, shopping trips, and several adventures. Roseann Marsh, who was certain that Nancy was able to enjoy nature and the scenic view they both shared on many occasions. Blue (Melody) Keller, who seemed to always know what would make Nancy the most relaxed and comfortable in her daily life who made many personal sacrifices to ensure a loving environment. Leah Morton-Morris, for her spiritual devotion to God and ensuring Nancy always knew the healing powers of prayer and strength of faith. Additionally, a special thanks to West Virginia Caring, Advanced Illness Care, for their help, support, empathy and medical expertise.
Friends and family will be received at Rotruck-Lobb Kingwood Chapel, 295 South Price Street on Thursday March 24, from 2-4 and 6-8. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday March 25, at 11:00 A.M. at St. Sebastian Catholic Church, 322 E. Main Street, Kingwood with Rev. Father Charles McGinnis as celebrant. Nancy will be laid to rest at Sunset Memorial Gardens beside her loving husband, parents, and brother.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made in Nancy’s memory to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014 or Food for Preston, P.O. Box 1175, Kingwood, WV 26537.
Condolences may be offered to the family online at www.rotruck-lobb.com.
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