Audrey Esther Nathan McNairy was born on March 12, 1939 in St. Louis, Missouri to Zilphy Watkins and Howard Nathan. She was the oldest of twelve children from Zilphy Watkins and the eldest of five children from Howard Nathan. However, she was raised by her grandparents Ramona Terry and Howard Nathan, II. In 1955, at the age of 16, Audrey relocated to San Diego, CA, where she was reunited with her mother and attended Kearny High School.
While in high school, it happened that Audrey went to ask a next door neighbor to borrow a cup of sugar. That day she encountered a young sailor named William Edward McNairy, Jr. who was stationed at the 32nd Street Naval Base. After a few months, William asked her over to share a drink where he placed an ice cube with a ring inside of the glass. She accepted the proposal, and on July 15, 1956, they went to Arizona and eloped. It was there that Audrey’s life began as a military wife.
In 1957, William Edward McNairy, III was born. The family relocated to Newport Port, Rhode Island, and in 1962, Audrey gave birth to her second son Wayne Edwin McNairy. Eighteen months later the family relocated again to Asmara, Ethiopia. It was there that she met her dear friend Mary Todd. After another relocation to Washington, D.C. in 1967, she welcomed a third son, Warren Evan McNairy. In 1968, the family drove back to San Diego, CA for another tour of duty. In 1969, Audrey gave birth to her fourth son Walter Eric McNairy.
Church was always a big part of Audrey’s life. She attended Christ the King Catholic Church with her Mom, Aunt Mattie, and Uncle George. Although she was not Catholic, she studied the catechism, and was even queen of the Mardi Gras Festival where she rode down Imperial Avenue on a float!
In 1975, after being a full time wife and mother for nearly twenty years, Audrey began her career as a caregiver and home health aide with Golden Hills Nursing Home. By 1978, she divorced and relocated to Bronx, NY where she continued her career as a caregiver and won awards for excellent service. While in New York she attended Zoe Ministries under the pastorate of E. Bernard Jordan.
After many years, Audrey and William, Sr. became good friends and in 2000, she returned to Pulaski, TN to lay her friend and former husband to rest. She remained in Pulaski for 7 years working as a foster grandmother for children with special needs. In 2008, Audrey relocated for the final time to San Diego, CA.
Audrey was a sassy, classy, well dressed woman who had many interests.
She was able to curtsy for Queen Elizabeth. She enjoyed being room mother to her sons, making pottery, traveling throughout America, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, and the Holy Land. She was known to “cut a rug” and got to dance with James Brown once! She also loved swimming and especially in the Red Sea. She loved to study astrology - she would know your sign before she knew your name! She was a faithful member and contributor to her church community at The Door of Hope Christian Church under the pastorate of Marty Martin. Among all her interests, and above all, her primary love was for her God and her family!
On June 27, 2019, Audrey moved from time into eternity. She was proceeded in death by her mother Zilphy Watkins Lucas, father Howard Nathan, sisters: Shirley Pargo, and Beverly Nathan; brothers: Paul Pargo, Theodore Pargo, George Pargo, and Charles Lucas. Left to treasure her memory are brothers: Ben Pargo, Albert Pargo (Lona), Terry Lucas (Wanda), Kevin Lucas, Kenny Lucas, Melvin Lucas, Terry Nathan, and Howard Nathan; sons: William McNairy, III, Wayne McNairy (Adrienne), Warren McNairy, Walter McNairy, grandchildren: Michael Morton, Chastity McNairy, Mireya McNairy; Erykah McNairy, Chavonne McNairy, Kaylah McNairy, and Walter McNairy, Jr., along with a host of aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, extended family and friends.
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