Sally “Nancy” Taggart Du Val, 95, of Montclair, died in her family home on Brookfield Road on Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2018 with her family by her side. Mrs. Du Val chose to donate her body to medical research, and through the Human Gifts Registry of PA, she was assigned to the medical school at the University of Pennsylvania. Arrangements were made by the Caggiano Memorial Home in Montclair.
Born in Philadelphia, PA on Jan. 23, 1923, Mrs. Du Val was two years old when she moved to Montclair with her parents, Ethel and Herbert Taggart, and she would continue to live there most of her life. After graduating Montclair High School in 1940, she attended Miami University in Oxford, OH and Beaver College (now Arcadia University) in Glenside, PA. She ultimately received a degree from the Katherine Gibbs School in Montclair in the discipline of Secretarial Studies. After graduation, Mrs. Du Val was working locally as a secretary and volunteering as a nurse’s assistant at Mountainside Hospital when during the final eight months of World War II, she was called to active duty in Fort Dix to serve as a nurse’s assistant to returning soldiers. Mrs. Du Val would drive to and from her assignment in her future husband’s 1930 Model A-Ford car named “Fanny.” Fanny would be their first car and is still a part of many happy family events and celebrations.
In 1949 she married William K. Du Val, also of Montclair, and they began their life together at Williams College, Williamstown, MA and Union Theological Seminary in New York City. In 1956, they moved to Geneva, Switzerland with their one year old daughter Margy, where for the next six and half years, The Rev. Du Val was on the staff of the World Council of Churches servicing Eastern Bloc refugees. In 1962, the family of five, (having had two more children-in French!- while residing in Geneva), returned to the United States. The family settled back in Montclair and Mrs. Du Val immersed herself in the community serving on the Montclair Fair Housing Committee, the NAACP, CROP, Heifer International, Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of America, Multiple PTA committees at multiple schools, and various boards and committees at the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair, Central Presbyterian Church in Montclair, and during her retirement, the Presbyterian Church of Hawley, PA. She served for nearly 35 years on the Board of the Neighborhood Childcare Center on Maple Street in Montclair.
While raising her family, she worked at Montclair High School as a secretary to the English Department and subsequently as secretary to the Biology Department at Montclair State College (now University), until her retirement in 1989. Mrs. Du Val and her husband spent their retirement years split between Montclair (where they provided childcare to their granddaughters), Normandy Beach and Tafton, PA. After her husband’s death in 2004, she moved to Heath Village in Hackettstown and enjoyed her life there until returning to Montclair in March 2018 due to health issues.
Mrs. Du Val always enjoyed bringing people together, whether it was through a dinner party, forming an American Wives support group in Geneva, organizing various social events for friends or forming Bridge groups. If she saw a need to pull a group of people together, she did. She was an avid knitter, a voracious reader and an unpublished author. Her favorite pastime during her years living at Heath Village was playing Bridge and spending time with friends and family.
Mrs. Du Val was predeceased by her son, William Kirkland Du Val Jr., her husband, The Rev. William Kirkland Du Val, foster son, Frank Vaiksnis Du Val, a brother, Thomas Taggart who was a crew member on the USS Indianapolis, and her parents.
She is survived by two daughters and their spouses, Margaret Du Val (Patricia Provato) and Debra Du Val Henry (Wayne). Four granddaughters, Susanna Medina (Jorge), Carol Henry, Corilyn Henry, and Clare Du Val. Two Daughter-In-Laws, Joel Vaiksnis and Suzanne Du Val, and a son from her heart, Franklin Walker (Penny Starks).
A celebration of Mrs. Sally “Nancy” Taggart Du Val’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, at the Presbyterian Church of Upper Montclair, 53 Norwood Ave., Montclair.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following: Neighborhood Childcare Center, P.O. Box 1216, 30 Maple Avenue, Montclair, NJ 07042; Hospice of New Jersey, (hospiceofnewjersey.com), 400 Broadacres Drive, Bloomfield, NJ 07003; Heifer International, (heifer.org), Little Rock, AR, or a charity of your choice.