Nellie Elizabeth Cleary, beloved Galveston educator, passed away on Friday, October 5, 2007. She was born in Galveston on April 21, 1917, the first child of Dan and Nellie Ryan Cleary. Her childhood was spent on the family dairy, where the Galveston Veterinary Clinic is today. In her youth, Nellie was very athletic. She enjoyed all sports, especially basketball, baseball, and swimming in Offatts Bayou.
After graduating from the old BallHigh School in downtown Galveston, Nellie went to Texas Women’s University, earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematics, returned to the GalvestonIndependentSchool District, and started her teaching career in 1939 as a member of the original faculty at Stephen F. Austin Junior High. While teaching, she continued her education and earned her Master’s Degree in Counseling from the University of Houston. Nellie spent her entire forty-six years in education at Stephen F. Austin. She had a tremendous love and concern for the students of Galveston.
Nellie is survived by her loving family: brother, Dan “Bubba” Cleary and wife, Elaine; sister, Catherine Paciotti; nephews: Danny Cleary, Dr. Donald Cleary and wife, Carleen; Joe Dan Paciotti and wife, Karen; nieces, Judy Osting and husband, Dennis; Debbie Riehl and husband, Tommy; Mary Obenauf and husband, Obie; Cathy Foerster and husband, Keith. She is survived by other nieces and nephews: D. J., Fanchen, Sutton, and Tess Cleary; Jennifer Cleary Kelley; Misty Milner; Brad, Adrienne, Jade, and Dylan Burden, Ashley Mallia; Bryan Riehl; Chris and Julie Paciotti; John and Ryan Obenauf; Kenny and Nate Foerster; and godchild, Tina Sims Miller.
Pallbearers will be Danny Cleary, Dr. Donny Cleary, Joe Dan Paciotti, Brad Burden, Dennis Osting, and Tommy Riehl.
Honorary pallbearers will be Raymond Burden, Gene and Edell Gloor, William Ryan, and Frank Vollert.
Visitation will be held Sunday, October 7th, from 5:00 until 8:00 pm at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Galveston. A rosary and vigil service will be held at 7:00 pm, led by Father Bill Bartniski.
Funeral Mass will be 1:00 pm, Monday, October 8th, at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church with Father Bill Bartniski leading this celebration of Nellie’s life. Burial will follow the service at Galveston’s CalvaryCatholicCemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, 1804 69th Street, Galveston, TX77551.