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Nightmare Comes True For Parents

Bobby Ross Jr. Published: June 30, 1993

"With Nancy, she was always happy, always made everybody feel good," her mother said. "She was the little counselor if anybody had a problem. And we really feel like the Lord used this man as an instrument to take her home. " As a result of the crash, the parents said they hope to spread awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving.

Although Tharp was not under the influence when he came to the police station, Melinda Norton said police told them witnesses reported seeing him falling over a table and chairs before he left a bar before the crash.

Don Norton said the owners and employees of establishments that sell alcohol should be liable when a drunken person becomes a potential killer.

"It gets kind of touchy because the person becomes violent in that state," he said. "But at some point, before that person gets behind that loaded gun, police ought to be called. " But rather than lash out at the circumstances, the Nortons concentrated on celebrating Nancy's life in the wake of her passing.

The 1990 Edmond Memorial High School graduate was born and lived her entire life in Edmond, and had raised two Arabian horses, Abby and Sparky, since the fourth grade. She had worked at Childtime Child Care, 1201 W 15, for three years and was a leader of the youth group at First Presbyterian Church in Edmond.

Her mother recalled her as a free spirit and caring individual who reached out to people, be they the children at the day-care center, the students at church, or the homeless street people she encountered in Dallas.

Nancy had traveled to Dallas for three consecutive summers to feed the homeless in a project called "Stewpot. " She also had gone with the church to Mexico twice to assist those plagued by poverty.

"The other kids that went (to Dallas) would go one summer and come home and it was like, they had done it ... (But Nancy kept going back because) she saw a real need," Melinda Norton said.

Shelby Finney, who graduated a year after Nancy, remembered the impact Nancy had on people's lives by telling a story about her experience with one homeless man in Dallas.

After meeting Nancy one summer, the man remembered her smiling face and willingness to talk with him when she returned the next year. He showed his appreciation by giving Nancy a ring or necklace, one of the last things he owned, Finney said.

Likewise, one of Nancy's last possessions, a videotape made at Six Flags over Texas last week, has become a priceless treasure for her family.

The tape, which shows a dancing Nancy grooving with co-workers to the beat of "I Love Rock 'n' Roll," was a final gift to her parents - and a lasting memory for her family and friends.

"I never imagined a week ago what this tape would mean," her mother said. BIOG: NAME:

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