Caitlin Elizabeth Clancy
GUILDERLAND — In elementary school and in her senior year of high school, Caitlin Clancy drew pictures in chalk on neighborhood driveways, even during math class.
A driven nursing student at State University of New York College at Brockport, Ms. Clancy, a 2013 Guilderland High School graduate, was in her second semester. Her favorite classes were nutrition and writing, and she couldn’t wait to dissect specimens and study anatomy.
Caitlin Elizabeth Clancy died unexpectedly from complications of diabetes, on Monday, Feb. 17, 2014 in Rochester. She was 18.
Her friends, Brittany Lee, Gianna Rodino, and Jessie Valensi, were with her parents, Maura and David Clancy, on Wednesday night. They wrote down stories as they talked and laughed, remembering a longtime friend who they described as full of ambition and never taking herself too seriously.
As a baby, Ms. Clancy was easy going, her mother said, and she had many imaginary friends as a child. She was born on Oct. 31, 1995 in Albany and attended Guilderland Elementary.
“One day, we were playing Capture the Flag with one of the boys. We thought we were tough,” Mrs. Clancy read from Ms. Rodino’s account.
Ms. Clancy ran across the muddy yard and her sneakers became stuck in the earth, so she left them there and walked off bare-footed. She told her parents she had lost them.
“I just found out,” her mother said. “And she just never looked for them — that was it.”
She loved her dogs, Maggie and Bluebell, yellow and black Labradors. Her family wrote in a tribute that she had an unmatched capricious spirit, and that she was silly, stubborn, and “our beautiful little chatterbox.”
Ms. Clancy used to go to Jessie Valensi’s house every day after school.
“Let’s build a fort, let’s draw, let’s make papier-mâché, let’s finger paint, let’s write poetry,” Mrs. Clancy read from the story. “It was hard to clean up in between each activity because she’d be doing all of them at the same time.” When her parents came home, Ms. Clancy would dart out the door and yell “bye” as Ms. Valensi’s father walked through the door.
Ms. Clancy was a member of Christ the King Parish in Guilderland where she had recently made her confirmation.
Her family wrote that she enjoyed oystering, clamming, and sailing on Cape Cod. She liked to relax with her family and friends. This summer, she went to Lake George and spent time with friends and her boyfriend, Connor Berg.
“A young boy named Jake fell in love with her and would follow her and Connor around like a puppy,” her mother read from her friends’ stories.
“To see her on the beach with Connor, you could tell she truly loved him,” she read.
Ms. Clancy first became intrigued by biology in her high school anatomy class.
“She always liked learning about the human body,” Mrs. Clancy said. “She was always intrigued by everything with the human body.”
Ms. Clancy expressed herself through words. She kept journals and wrote poetry.
“She loved to write things down,” her mother said. “She’d write silly things down and make you laugh.”
Ms. Clancy loved food — the rich and strong flavors of Indian food being her favorite. She cooked it and brought it to people in high school who liked its exotic spices. “She’s always wanted to cook and thought about food and loved food and loved her dad’s cooking,” her mother said.
Mrs. Clancy said she learned from her daughter to be strong and love life. She said her daughter was able to read people and intuit their thoughts and emotions. She had a sharp wit and sense of humor. She always had a smile on her face.
“She said, Jessie, I’m going to build a sailboat,” her mother read from a friend’s account of when Ms. Clancy was 7 years old. “I’m going to sail by myself to Ireland. I’m going to get an Irish boyfriend. I’ll come back with a dog and I’ll have stories for you.”
Caitlin Elizabeth Clancy is survived by her parents, David and Maura (née Finin) Clancy of Guilderland; her siblings, Molly Clancy and Patrick Clancy. She was the granddaughter of Lavina Elizabeth (née Reedy) Finin and the late William G. Finin, and the late John F. and Margaret L. (née Donnelly) Clancy III. She is also survived by many aunts, uncles, cousins, friends; her longtime boyfriend, Connor Berg; her Brockport family, the McFams; and many high school friends.
Calling hours and a Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Christ the King Church, 20 Sumter Ave., in Guilderland from 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 21. A mass will be held on Saturday at 10 a.m. Interment will be at St. Agnes Cemetery in Menands.
Arrangements are by the Newcomer Cannon Funeral Home in Colonie and mourners may go online to www.NewcomerAlbany.com.
Memorial donations may be made to the Caitlin Clancy Memorial Scholarship Fund at Guilderland Central School District, 8 School Road Post Office Box 18, Guilderland Center, NY 12085.
— Marcello Iaia