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Nancy Ruth Gasser

Dedicated nurse, longtime resident, active in church and community projects

Nancy Gasser. (Courtesy photo)

Nancy Ruth (Thorne) Gasser died unexpectedly March 2, 2023, at Nashoba Valley Medical Center after a period of declining health, with family by her side including her loving husband, Gary, to whom she was married for 63 years.

Nancy was born July 11, 1938, the daughter of the late Charles and Ruth (Stone) Thorne. She grew up in Woburn with her parents and older brother, Robert. In 1956 she graduated as valedictorian and with high honors from Woburn High School. Awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, she received her degree in nursing in 1960, graduating with honors. At Michigan, Nancy made many lifelong friends and met her partner for life, Gary Gasser. They were married in 1960, and Nancy worked as a nurse while Gary completed his degrees at the College of Engineering.

Once Gary had graduated, they moved to Harvard, falling in love with the town and buying a home on Prospect Hill Road in 1965, where they resided ever since. Their old farmhouse was quirky and charming, but needed work. Renovating, decorating, and gardening became passions for Nancy, and through her vision, skill, and attention to detail, her home came to reflect her warm and welcoming personality, a refuge for friends and family. It was here that Nancy and Gary raised their three daughters.

Nancy enjoyed participating in the Garden Club of Harvard and was an active member of the Harvard Congregational Church and the UCC (United Church of Christ). Once her children reached school age, Nancy returned to work at Emerson Hospital as a maternity and neonatal nurse. She helped many families bring their children into the world and was noted for her expert and compassionate care. In 1998 Nancy retired from Emerson after three decades of nursing.

In their retirement Nancy and Gary enjoyed traveling abroad, visiting family and friends, and spending summer vacations in Maine and Nantucket and winters in Florida. Nancy was a wonderful, loving, and supportive mother and grandmother, and a dedicated and caring friend. She loved people and could strike up a conversation with anyone, anywhere. Her curiosity, kindness, generosity, sense of fun, and delicious cooking will be greatly missed by all who knew her.

Nancy leaves behind her husband, Gary, and her three daughters: Kristen Gasser Lawrence (Nicholas Lawrence) of Kenilworth, England; Gretchen Gasser-Ellis (Jamie Ellis) of Essex; and Erika Gasser (Jonathan Barber) of Cincinnati, Ohio. She also leaves her grandchildren: Zoe Lawrence, Isobel Lawrence, Cameron Ellis, and Faith Ellis; and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Friends and family will gather to honor and remember Nancy Sunday, March 12, from 2 to 5 p.m. at Badger Funeral Home, 347 King St. in Littleton. A memorial service will be held Monday, March 13, at 2 p.m. at the Congregational Church of Harvard, 5 Still River Road, in Harvard. Interment will be private at a later date. In lieu of flowers a donation can be made to Habitat for Humanity-North Central Mass.

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