Oneta Ellen Brooks Vance, a native of Arizona, passed away peacefully at her home, surrounded by her loving family, November 21, 2019 at the age of 86. Oneta was born in Chandler, AZ on March 8, 1933, the daughter of Will Dallas Brooks and Frances Jane Brooks, both deceased. Oneta attended school in Fredonia, Prescott and Chandler, AZ. At Chandler High School, Oneta was a cheerleader, drum majorette, proficient in three musical instruments, student council and class officer. Oneta played leading roles in several plays and won Superior ratings in state speech contests.
In 1951, only five days after graduating from Chandler High School, Oneta married her high school sweetheart and the love of her life, John D. Vance, Sr. They were married for 60 years. After their wedding, Oneta & John moved to Blythe, then Yuma, eventually moving back to Chandler to start their own farm and begin their family.
From early childhood, Oneta had longed to become a nurse. Despite the demands of raising four kids, working on the farm, church and civic responsibilities, Oneta decided to go to college and earned her R.N. degree in 1970 from Mesa Community College and continued her nursing education at ASU. Oneta worked as an R.N. at Florence Hospital and at Arizona State Hospital for several years. Realizing her talents were needed in her community, Oneta began to redirect her nursing skills to those close to her. Oneta’s outreach to those in need earned her the name “Nancy Nurse.”
Oneta devoted countless hours to community service projects of Chandler Service Club where she served as vice president. She also served as vice president of Phoenix Cotton Wives and served as Cotillion chairman. Oneta was a member of PEO, Chapter BF, volunteered countless hours at the local schools and also at Chandler Nazarene Church.
Oneta had a servant’s heart and always put the needs and welfare of others ahead of her own. John and Oneta instilled these same values in their children and grandchildren. Oneta and John gave of their time and resources helping others, never asking for anything in return.
Oneta’s family would like to thank all of her caregivers for the outstanding care and love they so unselfishly gave over the last two years. Oneta’s family would also like to thank Dr. Robert Bullington, Sr. and Dr. and Mrs. James Allison for the many years of medical guidance they gave Oneta and her husband, John. Many thanks to Hospice of the Valley for their love and support in Oneta’s last days.
Oneta is survived by her four children, Deneen Nielson (Kirk), Dell Vance (Denise), Lori Fulenwider (Steve), Jan Friedman (Gregg); twelve grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren, all of who affectionately called her “Maca.” Oneta is also survived by many in-laws, nieces and nephews, whom she loved dearly. A celebration of Oneta’s life will be held on Tuesday, December 3rd at 11:00 a.m. at the Chandler First Church of the Nazarene, 301 N. Hartford Street, Chandler. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Chandler Service Club, P.O. Box 1243, Chandler, AZ 85244.