In Memory of Nancy C. Begley

December 30, 1936 - February 7, 2024

Nancy Catherine (Lilliquist) Begley, 87, of Hayward, WI passed away peacefully at Essentia-St. Mary’s Medical Center in Duluth, MN on February 7, 2024, knowing her children were there. Nancy was affectionately known as “Grandma Nancy” to many.

Nancy was born on December 30, 1936, at Pingree Hospital in Detroit, MI to Alvin and Jeanette (Coburn) Lilliquist. She attended St. Henry’s Parochial School through the 8th grade and graduated from Lincoln Park High School in Lincoln Park, MI in June 1954.

She married Bennie E. “Ben” Begley on January 12, 1955. The couple traveled extensively during his service in the United States Air Force and retired in Hayward in 1975. They immediately became active in the community through various organizations, including the Moose Lodge and the Jaycees, for whom they transported the Musky Queen Float for several years.

Nancy was a hard worker who dedicated her life to the service of others. In 2002, she was recognized as the Veterans Auxiliary Member of the Year and Volunteer of the Year in 2012. She coordinated the Hayward call center for the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon to benefit Muscular Dystrophy for 20 years and was a member of the Disabled American Veterans Auxiliary and the American Legion Auxiliary. However, Grandma Nancy’s most significant community contribution was as the Past President and Founder of the non-profit organization, Christmas 4 Kidz (C4K). She wanted every child to experience the joy of Christmas and was devoted to that mission for 47 years. Aside from her family, Christmas 4 Kidz was her pride and joy, and a meaningful legacy to leave behind in the community she loved.

Nancy enjoyed reading, jigsaw puzzles, and playing games - especially Bananagrams and Skip Bo. She was an avid football fan and loved cheering for the Hayward Hurricanes. She could often be seen sitting on the sidelines shouting, “Grandma wants a touchdown!” She loved dancing and music, especially Elvis and “the oldies”. Her outgoing personality, infectious laugh, and pure authenticity will be missed.

She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, her sister Judy Wahl, brother-in-law Jim Wahl, and nephew James Wahl.

She is survived by her two children, son Michael “Mike” (Anna) Begley of Hudson, and daughter Catherine “Cathy” (Todd) Weis of Stratford. She is also survived by seven grandchildren Adam Begley and Marie Begley of Hudson, Ryan (Abby Johnson) Begley and Matthew (Madeline) Weis of River Falls, Lauren Weis and Amy (Rodney II) Harper of Madison, Jenna (Christian Peters) Weis of Eau Claire, and great grandchildren Kaylee Thomas, RJ Harper III, and Baby Weis due in May. She is further survived by nephew, John (Kathy Vittum) Wahl, great-niece Jill (Donovan) DeGaetano, Minneapolis, MN, and the DeGaetano children Adina, Madison, Genevieve and Louden and very dear friends Jon and JoAnne Powell.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m., on Monday, February 19, 2024, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hayward with Father Karunakar Madanu officiating. A visitation will be held from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 18th, at Hayward Funeral Home and from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Monday at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Interment will be in Greenwood Cemetery in Hayward.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to Christmas 4 Kidz, PO Box 13076, Hayward, WI 54843.

Last Update: Feb 13, 2024 2:56 pm CST

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