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Dr. Nancy McCagney

1941 - 2013, Santa Barbara

Dr. Nancy McCagney was born on June 10, 1941 in Brooklyn, New York and was raised on Long Island. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1965 and received a Masters in Philosophy in 1971. After college she lived in Paris and studied at the Sorbonne. In the early 70's, Nancy moved to Mendocino where she developed a deep love for nature. She decided to pursue graduate degrees in Religious Studies at University of California in Santa Barbara, receiving her Masters in 1984 and her Doctorate in 1991.

She taught at the University of California at Santa Barbara, California State University at Chico, University of Delaware, Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpinteria, California, as well as at a Buddhist Studies Abroad program in India. She was loved by her students for her enthusiasm and knowledge. She was proficient in four languages.

Nancy published her first book, Nagarjuna and the Theory of Openness in 1997, later Religion and Ecology, and was editing her third manuscript, God and Nature when she became seriously ill with Cancer. After she retired from teaching she settled in Mendocino, California, before finally returning to Santa Barbara. Although she never married, she had several loves in her life. Nancy died peacefully on April 28, 2013.

She was an adventurous, inquisitive, independent spirit who loved life, being out in nature, teaching and learning. She had varied interests, including the Tibetan Aid Foundation, the Santa Barbara Maritime museum, moderating a discussion of the film, “An Inconvenient Truth” for the Mendocino Sierra Club, helping arrange a visit from the Dalai Lama to the UCSB campus in 1997. She traveled, hiked, rafted the Colorado River, snorkeled in the South Pacific. She is survived by two sisters, Jane and Midge, 2 nephews, 1 niece, 6 grand nephews and nieces. She will be greatly missed.

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