On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, Nancy Sue Mann Skains, 67, went to rest in her Lord and Savior and was completely healed of cancer.
Nancy was born on February 15, 1955 in West Monroe, Louisiana to Buddy and Colene Mann. After graduating from West Monroe High School, Nancy attended Louisiana Tech University where she earned her degree in Education. She spent 30 years in the classroom teaching high school students Drama and English. Over the nineteen years she called West Ouachita High School home, she would frequently share the morning announcements and was never shy about incorporating sound effects to add some flair (Anyone else remember, “Beep! Beep! Who’s got the keys to the jeep? Vrmmm, Vrmmm!” blaring over the PA system?). She was very involved on campus and dedicated much of her time to sponsoring danceline and yearbook, orchestrating Homecoming festivities, organizing school trips to amazing places, and putting on theater productions. During her career, Nancy’s vibrant personality left its mark on her many students, danceline girls, yearbook staffers, and co-workers. Although Nancy retired fifteen years ago, she was still a teacher to the core and absolutely felt comfortable correcting both children and adults alike if she thought they needed it.
In 1980, Nancy met Kent Skains. He promptly asked her out for the upcoming Friday night; unfortunately, Nancy already had other plans. She quickly let him know that although her Friday night was booked, she’d be happy for him to take her out on Saturday instead. He knew that he couldn’t afford to miss that opportunity, so Saturday night he was at her front door with a fistful of peppermint carnations (some of Nancy’s favorites) and their story began. It didn’t take long before they knew they were destined to share a beautiful life together. She often said her certainty of Kent stemmed from the fact that he made her toes curl when he kissed her the first time. We think she may have said this mostly to make her kids cringe. Over the course of their 41 year marriage, they experienced many exquisite blessings and some poignant heartbreaks. Through it all, they loved each other completely and fiercely.
Nancy always said that she was incredibly blessed to have her three children - Kirstian, Rachael, and Nathan. But, they know they were the ones blessed to have her. She spent countless hours crying out to the Lord in prayer for them and their families. She could be counted on to leave them the best voicemails (“Hey Doll! I just wanted you to know that I love you, and I am praying that you can feel the arms of Most High holding you close! Give me a buzz when you get this!) and text messages (always including at least one HALLELUJAH, peppered with emojis, and full of as many capital letters as she could fit!). She loved her children through every season of their lives even when they weren’t easy to love. She always made time to listen to them vent after a tough day. Those calls would inevitably include her breaking out into prayer mid conversation asking God for His wisdom and guidance in their lives. They ran to her whenever they had good news to share, and she never failed to encourage them and celebrate their wins no matter how big or small. Those conversations also always included her breaking out into prayer - these times thanking God for His goodness and favor. Nancy was an absolutely one-of-a-kind Mom and an amazing example of Christ’s love to her children.
Nancy was eager to share with others that she was a Gainey because she gained two wonderful children-in-law: Kyle Bryant and Paige Skains, and seven amazing grandchildren: BRAVE heart of God- Jett Carter, COURAGEOUS heart of God- Carson Bryant, BOLD heart of God - Easton Bryant, FIERCE heart of God- Finley Carter, STALWART heart of God- Holden Skains, JOY FILLED VALIANT heart of God- Braxton Skains, and STRONG heart of God- Stetson Skains. She could often be found running the roads between Downsville and Shreveport to attend the various events of her grands. She showed up at their football games, soccer games, baseball games, basketball games, softball games, dance recitals, graduations, awards days, Grandparents’ Day events, book fairs, talent shows, and field trips. If you were ever at a ballgame with her, you would definitely hear her loudly cheering, “Keep your eyes on Jesus, eyes on the ball!” or possibly calling out the officials on questionable calls.
When not spending time with her family, Nancy kept herself busy with her many interests. She was an active member of her church, Piney Woods Christian Church, where she was known for giving hugs to everyone she encountered whether they wanted them or not. Nancy’s heart was one of the most giving in the world. Even Kent didn’t know quite how giving they were until he finally saw her checkbook register for the first time this past week. She adored helping others however she could. She never wanted any praise or recognition; it just brought her great joy to see others being blessed. Nancy enjoyed volunteering at Broken Wings Mission Center and was all in for a good mani, pedi, and hair day. She loved traveling and got to see some pretty incredible places around the world. Some of her favorite trips were cruising and riding the train through Alaska, seeing the giant manta rays in Hawaii, beach days at Matagorda Bay, visiting the Sight and Sound Theater in Branson, exploring the California Redwoods, and walking where Jesus walked in the Holy Land. Nancy was a movie buff and would often take her grands to see the latest family movie showing. Afterwards, she’d return the grands full of movie theater treats and let everyone know that, “It was good, but they really could have left out the part where…”. She delighted in the beauty of God’s creation and relished the time she spent outdoors - tending to her flowers, listening to the birds (“Do you hear the birds? They’re a reminder of God’s promises.” Matthew 6:26), reading her bible on the back porch, or taking a boat ride with friends and family. But most especially, Nancy loved sharing the love of Jesus with any and everyone she possibly could.
Nancy Skains lived a beautifully blessed life and left such an inspiring legacy of love. We are proud to have known her, loved her, and been loved by her.
Nancy was preceded in death by her parents, Buddy and Colene Mann. She is survived by her husband, children, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, sisters, brother, sister-in-laws, brother-in-law, aunt, cousins, nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews. They will all miss her dearly.
A celebration of life will be held for Nancy at Piney Woods Christian Church, 550 Hamilton Road in Downsville, Louisiana on Sunday, September 18, 2022 at 2:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to The Gideons International for bibles in Nancy’s honor.