Every once in awhile Nancy Lee Clancy is gifted a book from a children's book series that makes her happy she kept her maiden name, Lee, in the mix.
Not that there's anything wrong with Fancy Nancy Clancy, the redheaded girl who gets into all sorts of literary adventures. The stories, unfortunately, are not based on Jackson’s own Clancy, though like the children's book character, Clancy’s singsong name is hard to forget.
Clancy, probably best known for her work as a Realtor, has been in Jackson full-time since 1985, when she spent her first full winter in the community. Soon after that snowy season she met who would become her second husband, Dan Clancy, who introduced her to boating.
Eventually the couple would know enough to sail farther away from home, taking bareboat charters through the Caribbean, Sea of Cortez and U.S. and British Virgin Islands, amongst other destinations.
Having grown up the daughter of a Marine Corps Lt. Colonel, Clancy is used to exploring new places, having lived in Southern California, Hawaii, Virginia and Florida. She settled in Southern California after graduating with a two-year degree from Santa Fe Community College in Gainesville, Florida where she studied physical education. She broke into a growing fitness market back "when aerobic dance first came out," she said, teaching classes.
She’s always been athletic, having been in the saddle since a young girl and studying ballet into her 20s. At 66 she still keeps a strict yoga regimen with sun salutations alongside her husband every morning.
"He's my alarm clock," she said. "He'll get up, shower, and come in and say, 'Time for AM yoga class.'"
As an advisor for Engel and Volkers, where she has been since November, Clancy knows the ins and outs of Jackson Hole real estate, from luxury properties to more affordable pieces. Previously she was an agent for Christie's International Real Estate, and prior to that, a partner with Real Estate of Jackson Hole.
She received her license in 1996, following the footsteps of her grandmother, who was also a Realtor.
“I just remember growing up she had her own office in Los Angeles and she worked selling real estate until she was over 80,” Clancy said. “She would be proud to know that I’m following in her footsteps.”
Many of her clients are high-end buyers, second-home owners or those looking to build a new home on a prime piece of real estate. But her passion for her profession peaks when she finalizes a contract for a first-time homebuyer, as she did recently for a couple who purchased a home in Teton Valley. Clancy and her cohorts commemorated the sale by placing a big red bow on the door to welcome the couple to the neighborhood.
“I love the feeling of excitement and exhilaration of young people buying their first home,” she said.
She also tends to get close to her clients, close enough that at one point she ended up adopting a kitten from a former client who needed to find a new home for the 3-month-old furball. She named her Nikita as "she was a sweet and unassuming little girl, but she was deadly," like the character on La Femme Nikita." Nikita recently died at 17 years old, leaving the Clancys petless. For now anyway.
While she has a lot of hours showing property under her belt, she’s also spent time in the governance of the real estate business, serving as president of the Teton Board of Realtors in 2012, followed by a position as vice president of the southwest district of Wyoming Realtors, and most recently completing a three-year tour as a Wyoming representative on the National Board of Realtors.
“It was very enriching for my career,” she said. “One of the greatest things about it was getting to know people across the state and in other parts of the country.”
When not at work, she can often be found on their boat on Jackson Lake or at the shooting range at the Jackson Hole Gun Club. She considers the latter more of a sport than a means of personal protection, though her interest in handguns was sparked by a home invasion she experienced while living in Indian Wells, California.
Though she and her ex-husband weren’t harmed, she remembers him yelling, “Nancy get the gun,” a tactic that was meant to scare the intruder, but not cause a confrontation. At the time, there was no gun to get, she said.
Soon after they acquired a pistol that she still has today, and several years later she felt compelled to learn how to confidently handle the weapon through a sheriff’s handgun safety course.
She took to shooting, and loved the competitive aspect of it, something that might stem from her competitive nature. As a young woman, she grew up riding horses, competing in hunter/jumper shows and other horse trials. She no longer owns horses (though thinks about it a lot, living adjacent to horse owners in South Park), her competitive spirit is still alive.
She became such a good shot with a handgun was eventually asked by Lynn Sherwood to teach a few courses.
“With handguns you have people who are really intimidated,” she said.
As an instructor, she found it empowering and rewarding to see students “come around from being afraid of it to understanding what it is and how to safely handle it — and then have so much fun.”
There’s something about hearing a plate ting and seeing it flip over, she said.
In the nearly 35 years she’s been in town, she’s seen the community change — she remembers the day when the first Rafter J home sold for $200,000, “now they’re over a million” — but she’s still very much in love with the place she made her home.
“In a big city, you’re just one of millions,” she said. “Small town just suits me.”