Nancy Ruth (Thorne) Gasser passed away unexpectedly on 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 on July 11, 1938, the daughter of the late Charles and Ruth (Stone) Thorne. She grew up in Woburn, MA with her parents and older brother Robert, whom she adored. In 1956 she graduated with high honors from Woburn High School, serving as valedictorian in a class of over 200 students. Awarded a scholarship to study at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, she received her degree in nursing in 1960, graduating with honors and inducted into Sigma Theta Tau, the national honor society for nurses. At Michigan, Nancy made many lifelong friends and met her soulmate and partner for life, Gary Gasser. They were married in 1960 in Chelmsford, MA and returned to Ann Arbor, where she worked as a resident nurse for the University of Michigan Hospital while Gary completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the College of Engineering.
Once Gary had graduated, they moved to Harvard, MA, falling in love with the town and eventually buying a home on Prospect Hill Road in 1965, where they have 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 with an unforgettable view of mountains to the north and west.
It was here that Nancy and Gary raised their three daughters. Nancy enjoyed participating in the Harvard Garden Club and was an active member of the Harvard Congregational Church and the UCC (United Church of Christ), where she worked on multiple committees and community projects. Once her children reached school age, Nancy returned to work at Emerson Hospital in Concord as a maternity and neonatal nurse. She helped many local 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 on the maternity ward.
In their retirement Nancy and Gary particularly enjoyed traveling abroad, to destinations in Europe, Russia, and the Caribbean. They regularly visited family and friends, 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, MA; and Erika Gasser (Jonathan Barber) of Cincinnati, OH; 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 on Sunday, March 12, 2023 from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at Badger Funeral Home, 347 King St. Littleton, MA. A memorial service will be held on Monday, March 13th, 2023 at 2pm at the Congregational Church of Harvard, 5 Still River Rd, Harvard, MA. Interment will be private at a later date.
In lieu of flowers a donation can be made in her honor to:
Habitat for Humanity-NCM
201 Great Road, Suite #301
Acton, MA 01720.