Nancy Breeland, age 89 of Biloxi, MS passed away on March 19, 2023. She was born in Biloxi, MS on October 5, 1933. She was the daughter of Glenn L. Swetman and June Read Swetman and wife of the late Albert L. Breeland for 63 years. She is survived by her brother, Chevis Swetman (Marcia); sister, June McGown (Bill); her daughter, Becky (Don Jones and children Jared and Jesse); son, Read H. Breeland (Laura and children Jeremy, Christopher, Zackery, Baylee, Sierra, Kaitlyn); and 11 great grandchildren.
Nancy graduated Biloxi High School in 1950 then attended University of Southern Mississippi from 1950 - 1954 where she received a M.S. degree in Speech Pathology.
Nancy, a certified speech pathologist worked for three years at the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Speech and Hearing Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. After returning to the coast in 1957, she taught classes for public speaking at the Biloxi High School and began a program for speech therapy in three junior high schools. Later, she started programs in the three elementary schools as well. During the summer, she began speech screening programs and classes for the Gulfport Junior Auxiliary and spoke to civic groups about speech and hearing problems and the available help.
For nineteen years, from 1960-1979, she was the Director of the Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center. In 1978, she received the Easter Seal Society’s Outstanding Service Award. She was listed in the Who’s Who in “Southern Women” (1978-1981). In 1982, she was honored as the Beta Sigma Phi “First Lady of Biloxi”. During this same period she also initiated a class of pre-school hard of hearing children and a corresponding parents group which later became part of the school program. She also began a speech screening in Biloxi Schools for the Head Start programs during the summers of 1965-1966.
Nancy belonged to several professional organizations which included, The American Speech and Hearing Association; Gulf Coast Speech and Hearing Society, which she was President of from 1973-1974; Public Relations Association of South MS from 1981-1985; Colonial Dames of the XVII Century; Richard Pace Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution; founding member of Biloxi-Ocean Springs Junior Auxiliary during its three petitioning years; Board of Directors of Howard Memorial Hospital (now Merit Health) from 1977-1981; Easter Seal Society local board 1965-1979; United Cerebral Palsy Board in 1963; and Home Health Agency Board from 1978-1979.
Outside of her professional career, Nancy was also very active in the community and participated in many other organizations. Some of these organizations were, Miramar Garden Club, which she was president of in 1964-1966/ 1971-1974/ 1993-1994); Gulf Coast Opera Theatre; K.N.S. Theatre; Center Stage; Metropolitan Dinner Club; Gulf Coast Symphony; Community Concert Association; Gulf Coast Carnival Association; Les Masquees Carnival Association; and founding member of the past Queens of Les Masquees.
Nancy enjoyed thespian arts and from 1957-1981 she appeared in twenty Theater productions along with working backstage with props, make-up, costumes and directing. Her favorite and unusual roles were “Mr. Tooth Decay” in the Junior Auxiliary in public schools and “The Spider Witch” at the neighborhood haunted house. She also wrote and directed skits for the neighborhood children to perform at the Biloxi Library.
While working as a speech pathologist, she prepared nearly all of her teaching materials and drew all the many pictures for all her phonetic practice sheets for her students. These were donated to other therapists and were used all over the state at one time.
Nancy volunteered at the hospital since 1977 and worked over 10,000 hours. Later, she joined the hospital auxiliary in 1981 and served as president from 1990-1994 and again from 2001 to 2004.
Nancy was a communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer. She was clerk of the vestry from 1976-1982, president of the Episcopal Church Women 1980-1981, and served on many committees and kept a photographic scrapbook of church activities from 1978 to 1982.
In lieu of flowers the family prefers donations made to Salvation Army, The Maritime Seafood Industry Museum, or Back Bay Mission.
Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 am on Thursday, March 23, 2023 at Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Home on Howard Avenue. Friends are invited to visit from 9:30 am to 11:00 am.
View and signing online tribute at www.bradfordokeefe.com Bradford-O’Keefe Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Nancy Breeland.