Nancy Louise Tirik, 62, of Orlando, Florida passed away, unexpectedly, at her home on the 10th of June 2020. Nancy was born in Sewickley, Pennsylvania, a suburb of Pittsburgh, in September 1957 to Charlotte Cottrill Tirik Rangel and Mike “Red” Tirik. Her love for Pittsburgh and all things Pittsburgh remained with her all of her life. Nancy was part of a large, loving Pittsburgh clan whose siblings and cousins remained close and involved in each other’s lives even as we grew and dispersed to different parts of the country. Maintaining those meaningful, loving connections across time and distance.
Nancy moved to Orlando, Florida in 1973, following the November 1972 move of her beloved Aunt Deanne and Uncle Larry and family. This move would shape Nancy’s future, leading her to a career that she loved and that took her literally around the world and brought her even more loving family in the form of her amazing Walt Disney Company Family.
Nancy began her Disney career in 1977, handing out costumes at the costume window to the theme park team members. She worked to earn a degree and through her experiences and talent grew to become a creative member of the costuming department as a Costume Designer in the Creative Costume and Design division. Eventually she worked her way up to Senior Designer, which meant so much to her. She came to be the liaison between the Walt Disney Company and Feld Entertainment and worked for many years helping to mount the Disney on Ice productions each September. It was a delight for her, each year, to round up the youngest of our family and treat them to the launch of that year’s Ice Show as it premiered in our home town, Orlando. Her career took her around the world, from her favorite places in London/United Kingdom, to Australia, Japan and even China. She got the chance to climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge and walk on the Great Wall of China! It was a great source of pride for her that eventually her creative work helped her to earn the title of Disney Imagineer. She retired in February of 2014, after 37 years, with a large celebration honoring her many contributions and accomplishments, including a surprise visit by, Duffy, her final wonderful Disney Character project. Some of her lifelong friends were and still are her WDW colleagues. The walls of her home are covered with many collectible items commemorating the projects she was involved it and this brought her great happiness, remembering the people and places.
Nancy’s lifelong career in costuming and creative design meant that she was known for always looking stylish and beautiful. As she delighted in collecting and wearing beautiful watches, clothes, shoes and jewelry and if she bought one for herself, she bought one for someone she knew would love the same things she did. She was a beautiful woman, inside and out and her loving and playful spirit shines through in all of the photos commemorating the amazing times we spent together in the adventurous life she shared with all of us.
Nancy was someone who made friends for life...or more accurately lived with the deep heartfelt belief that “Family” is not necessarily JUST people born into your family and her large collection of loving family and friends, including high school friends surrounded her all of her life.
Nancy’s love of travel started early in life as it was our family’s love of road trips that helped us to all stay close as our family branched out to Maryland, Virginia, Florida and beyond. These family trips helped us to stay close and became a staple of Nancy’s life, taking many road trips with her “sisters” and her brothers and cousins and countless nieces and nephews, in between her many glamorous trips globetrotting for Walt Disney Entertainment. Her particular love for New York City and her desire to share and spur that love in others led to many pleasure trips with so many of us that it is a wonderful shared memory.
But there was no place that she loved more than the Great Smoky Mountains and the areas surrounding those mountains, in North Carolina and Tennessee. She took many trips to Gatlinburg, TN, Boone and Zionville, NC, the latter being the home of her dear friends and colleagues. This is where she spent a lot of time after she retired, so much so that she was making plans to move there, near her beloved Appalachian Mountains. Her family and friends were the great beneficiaries of her love of those mountains as it was one her favorite things, to shower all of us with wonderful gifts that she lovingly picked out on her many visits. Candles, soaps, warm, comfy socks, beautiful pieces of artistic jewelry, trinkets, and pictures…prized treasures that she delighted in shopping for, collecting and presenting for birthdays and Christmas and special occasions. This is just a small example of a central truth about our Nancy…her loving and giving, generous spirit. She was a dear sister, like a mother, godmother, aunt, “grandmother” and best friend to countless people who will miss her beyond words as she took care of all of us in mind, body and spirit with her happy, positive, beautiful soul.
Nancy is preceded in death by her Mother, Charlotte, her Father, Red and her beloved Brother Joseph, the namesake of her nephew, 3 year old Joseph…a light in Nancy’s life. She is also preceded by her Aunt Deanne and Uncle Larry Ripple, the parents of her cousins, who along with her brothers lived as a large, happy, family in Florida for most of her life.
She is survived by her brother and dearest friend, Michael Tirik and her Sisters in life: Sherry Ludwick, Susan Doepke, Patty Jean Goad, Pamela Hill, all of Florida. Patty Cobb of Pittsburgh. Her cherished Nephew, Cstephanos Tsirius. Her treasured Niece Katherine Tirik and the lights of her life: Nephews Anthony Barclay, Jayden Santiago, Joseph Tirik and baby Niece Brielle Bryant, all of Florida. Her “Nieces and Nephews”: Amanda Holmberg (Parker and Caiden), Ashley Cooley (Liam and Lane), Patrick, Brittany and Bradley Goad, Nicholas D’Alessandro, Cherokee Hill and Ryan Cobb. And her large clan of extended family of cousins whose visits and family gatherings were a delight of her life. She is also survived by lifelong friends who remained an active vibrant part of her life: Cousins Debbie DelMonte, Brenda Lee and Bernadette Major, Paula Bissonnette, Sara Brooks, Lori Miklos and Debbie Finnerty. If you are not named here…please know that we are thinking of all of you as we know this loss is a tremendous loss felt by many.
As many of you probably know, a large part of Nancy’s life has been the children who are part of her family…she treasured all of them so much. These past few years Nancy has had so much happiness and joy having her Niece Katie and her children living with her and Mikey. She was “Aunt Nani” to her youngest nephews and niece, and it was her life. We know that many of you are asking about honoring Nancy with flowers and that means a lot to us, but if we can humbly ask, in lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a donation to a fund that we have started to help care for “Aunt Nani’s” little loves, Jayden, Joseph and Brielle, it would be a blessing, as Aunt Nani will not be here to shower them with love and care, as she has been. There is a link below to this fund, if you are so inclined to donate.
Nancy will be honored by her family at a Memorial service at Newcomer’s Funeral chapel on Goldenrod Rd beginning with a gathering at 1pm and a memorial at 2pm on June 27th, 2020. With Covid-19 restrictions the chapel has to limit the number of occupants to 50 persons. We welcome you all to come and gather with us during the 1-2pm hour but we will have to restrict the number of persons in the chapel for the actual memorial to 50, so this means that we may have to say goodbye to some friends as we begin the memorial. But please know that we love you all and happily look forward to sharing with you in the memory of our Nancy.
Due to Covid-19, and our commitment to safety, you may join us for Nancy's memorial service remotely by joining the live stream here
. The password to join is Tirik
In lieu of flowers, please donate to Aunt Nani's Little Loves