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Nancy Jean Borghi


Nancy Pilmer Borghi left our world on September 19, 2022. Way too soon. But the complications of Graves Disease and rheumatoid arthritis became too much, and her family is so grateful she is no longer in pain. A private graveside service has been held, and an informal visitation will be held on Saturday, October 8 from 3-5 p.m. at O’Leary’s Funeral Home, 1020 Main Street, Norwalk, IA.


Nancy was born in Des Moines on May 11, 1953 to her loving parents, Dale and Jean (Garrison) Pilmer. The third of four children, Nancy made sure that she was not “caught in the middle.” She was the family “handful” with her quick mind, sharp wit and determination to do things her way. Behind her wit and willfulness was a sensitive soul who was deeply loving, loyal and protective of everyone she loved, family and friends alike.


A graduate of Roosevelt High School, Nancy had a long and successful career in life insurance administration and made many lifelong friends at Interstate Assurance, American Mutual Life and Amerus (now Athene). She made work fun for everyone around her and was legendary for helping create an annual “Groundhog Day” event where senior executives yanked out a stuffed groundhog. She took her work seriously, but wanted it to be enjoyable at the same time.


Nancy was a great cook, a great party guest, and celebrated everything worth celebrating. You couldn’t be around Nancy and not laugh. She may have been the oldest person in the greater Des Moines area to be blasting rap music from her car radio. She built a huge Facebook following with her with humor, snark, political analysis and well-told stories of her childhood and daily life.


Nancy loved her sons and grandchildren with, as she would say, “the fire of a thousand suns.” Though it wasn’t easy when she became a single mom, she made sure they came first and foremost, and was so proud of raising two boys “with good hearts.” She was equally devoted to her three grandchildren and loved babysitting so she could spend quality time with them.


Nancy was also a devoted daughter and sister, despite her occasional desire to torment all of them with her sense of humor and individuality. The “family handful” was fiercely protective of her parents and siblings. Holidays, birthdays and many Sundays were reserved for the entire family to gather, eat and make fun of each other.


She is survived by her sons, Daniel Hannan and Matthew Borghi; her grandchildren Matthew Risinger, Zoey Hannan and Aidan Hannan; and her sisters, Andrea and Sharon Pilmer. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Dale.


Memorial contributions may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Iowa.


We miss her beyond measure.


This obituary is posted on behalf of O'Leary Funeral & Cremation Services in Norwalk, IA.

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