NEW ORLEANS — Jefferson Parish Councilwoman Jennifer Van Vrancken met Nancy Parker when she first started working at WVUE FOX 8 during Hurricane Katrina.
Van Vranken says Nancy was always a positive influence in her life from that day on.
"Especially at a time when it was a dark period for the city, I think it’s someone like Nancy who shines even brighter. Right off, I knew this lady was special," Van Vranken said.
She says Nancy treated her like family; like a sister, in fact.
"Nancy is real, because when all of us were telling stories about who we were dating at the time, she gave us wisdom," she said.
RELATED: Plane in fatal New Orleans crash had engine problems, witnesses say
That wisdom extended to her marriage, as well as wisdom about being true to who you are as a person. In addition, Van Vranken said Nancy was just plain fun.
"I remember going to her house and she had a girls night with us, and she'd be making the margaritas, there'd be music and dancing in the backyard, always vibrant, always living life to the fullest," she said.
The pair also had a special bond that involves their families, specifically their mothers.
RELATED: Nancy Parker, known for covering New Orleans hard news with heart, dies in plane crash
"Nancy used to joke our moms are like the same people, that god used the same mold when he made the both of them, he just spray painted one darker. We just had such similar upbringings," she said.
That’s why it’s so difficult for Van Vrancken to process how someone who could light up a room with her smile is now gone.
"She loved her job, she loved lots of other things, but at the heart of who she was it's her husband, it's her children, it's her faith, it's her family. That's a lesson I think that if each us thought of everyday, we'd be a lot better off,” she said.
WWL NEWS APP