Member Profile

Nancy Casey

Nancy Casey at home July 2023

Long time branch member Nancy Casey says that her love of flight began when she was five years old, and her father took her for a ride in a piper cub over Birmingham, AL, where she was born in 1935.

After high school, Nancy attended Tulane University in New Orleans for two years. As soon as she was 20 years old, she quit to become a flight attendant with Capital Airlines, a small company based in Washington DC that flew only in the eastern half of the country. It was then that she met Lee Casey, a new “cute” co-pilot with the airlines.

They dated for several years before Nancy finally agreed to marry him in 1958. At that time, married women were not allowed to work as flight attendants, and she did not want to give up her job.

Nancy and Lee

Over the next 20 years, Nancy and her family lived in various cities, depending on where Lee’s job took them. Capital was eventually taken over by United Airlines, and Lee was transferred to San Francisco in 1977.

Nancy then began searching for a home. Properties were selling very quickly at that time, so she was surprised that the house in Woodland Acres off Llagas Road was still available. After they purchased it, they found out that much of the house was not up to code.

Lee loved the house on top of the hill and said he wanted to skydive down to Chesbro Reservoir. Nancy was less enchanted and spent several years correcting the code violations.

When Nancy decided that she wanted to complete her university degree, she chose to attend UC Santa Cruz with a major in the new Women’s Studies program. Her two daughters were now young adults, so she had more available time.

Nancy couldn’t wait to graduate from college so she could join AAUW. She became a branch member in October 1984. She said it was a wonderful organization to belong to. She has always loved AAUW and the women involved.

She says that she was active working on political topics, especially lobbying for women’s issues. She claims that she has always been interested in politics and women’s rights, as was her mother. She claims that she wrote her first political letter when she was ten years old. She also once served on the City of MH Library Commission.

Holiday Party 2014

Nancy also enjoyed the AAUW social events, such as the summer barbecues and various outings, both cultural and outdoor activities, usually wearing one of her many hats.

Besides her interest in flying (Nancy had her private pilot’s license), she has pursued many forms of artistic expression: sculpture, oil and water color painting, even welding. (Her mother was an artist.) She and Lee frequently traveled, collecting art along the way. She was especially fond of African art. Nancy also sometimes traveled by herself—able to fly standby because of Lee’s position. Paris and Hong Kong were two of her favorite places.

Daughter Barbara and Nancy

Nancy 2016

When Nancy’s husband Lee became ill, their daughter Barbara moved from Denver back to Morgan Hill to help care for him. Lee died in February 2022, and now Barbara helps care for her mother. Barbara has recently joined AAUW herself.

Over the years, Nancy has suffered numerous bouts of pneumonia, surgeries, and hospitalizations, but not much has slowed her down, although she no longer drives. For her 88th birthday in April 2023, her daughters took her to Paris for a memorable trip to one of her most loved cities.

In Paris with daughter Betty (center) and granddaughter

Carol O’Hare, Newsletter editor

Return to September/October 2023 Newsletter