Nancy Michael is a native of Sicily who moved to Murphy five years ago.


    Editor’s note:  This is one of an occasional series of articles that draws attention to ordinary Cherokee County residents and their extraordinary lives.
    Murphy – Sicilian native Nancy Michael has found peace and contentment in Cherokee County.
    “I was born and raised in Sicily. It is a beautiful country. My family lost everything when I was a young girl. I knew I couldn’t just sit around and do nothing,” Michael said.
    “At the age of 8, I had my first job and went to work for a rich family by taking care of their children. I lived at their house and only saw my parents once or twice a year. I never went to school.
    “I was only 18 when I came to this country to live with my aunt and uncle. When I first came to Florida, I remember how warm the air was and how good it felt.
    “The very next morning at 8 a.m. I got up, got dressed and told myself I had to go get a job. I hadn’t even had breakfast yet! I didn’t know how to read and had never been in school, but I was still able to get a job at the Holiday Inn.
    “I was married to a cop at the police department, and we had three children, two girls and a boy. We ended up getting a divorce. Wow…it was sad. I never thought it would happen, but it did. I raised my children alone.
    “After my kids had grown up and moved away, I went back home because I was lonely and missed them. After staying with them for a little while, I had to leave. I didn’t have a job there and was spending all my money traveling to see them.
    “So I went back to the Holiday Inn in Florida again, except this time my son came with me and I was very happy. We had an apartment, and we were very happy together.  He found himself a girlfriend. They eventually got married and moved away.
    “I was sick for a long time and almost died three times. I had pneumonia in my lungs, and it was taking over me. I couldn’t breathe or talk. I’ve had the shot, and hopefully it will continue to work.
    “I have to be careful where I go because of people; you don’t know what germs they might have. I believe it was the bleach and cleaner that caused it with all the chemicals I used daily at work. But I’m OK, I’m doing well now.
    “I moved to Murphy five years ago from West Palm Beach. My son wanted me to move here with him, but at first I was not too happy about that because I had a lot of friends where I lived. Now I like it here. I have a beautiful home, and it’s very comfortable. I enjoy working in my garden at home, and I plant beautiful flowers.
    “The people here are very nice everywhere I go. Everyone at Penland Senior Center has all been very good to me. Winfield Clonts has been so good to me, like a brother. He’s superman!
    “This is a nice area, and people are so good. But you get to a certain age and you are lonely. You get up and you don’t know what to do. I have to tell myself, ‘You know what you better get dressed, get cleaned up and go to the senior center.’ And there I am almost every day. I am trying. And it’s tough, it’s tough.
    “I could make a book.
My friend said she would like to write a book on me too! This is my life and it
has been a great adventure, all 78 years of it,” Michael said.
    If you would like to nominate a local resident for “Humans of Cherokee County,” please email