ORANGE - Dr. Nancy Harris passed away on Friday, February 25 after being stricken at home. She was born in Gardner, Massachusetts on April 9, 1937 to Vernon Harris and Mary (Quinn) Harris.
Nan graduated from Templeton High School and went to Clark University for her undergraduate studies in history. She went on to get a Masters Degree at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and her doctorate from Boston University. Her doctoral thesis was about Chief Supreme Court Justice Roger Taney.
She started her career in education teaching elementary grades at Westminster, Scituate and Framingham school districts. She then went to Worcester State University as an Associate Professor in 1969. Nancy became a full professor and a valuable member of WSC eventually becoming the Department Chair for the Elementary Education Program and Supervisor of Student Teaching. She served on Curriculum, Tenure and New Hires Committees and supervised Masters Degree Comprehensive Exams. She supervised 27 programs for state teacher certifications. Using her experience as an elementary teacher, she was the administrator for the Worcester State Child Center. Nancy was also chosen to represent her college at the Dept. of Education to formulate regulations for teacher certification and writing state policy for school educators. Dedicated and proud of her Worcester State association she had a strong work ethic and was well liked and respected by her peers. She was considered a strong leader, fair minded and held high standards.
In retirement, Nancy owned vacation homes in Yarmouth and loved her time spent on Cape Cod. She was a member of Ellinwood CC and Worcester County Women’s Golf Association. She was a good athlete in high school and enjoyed playing golf She was a fan of both the New England Patriots and Boston Red Sox.
Nancy loved to travel, mostly to Europe, although she also traveled to Turkey and Greece. She would often reflect on her memories of those trips abroad.
Her giving nature was seen with her many donations to her three colleges and the various hospitals that had treated her over the years. She was always willing to help financially when it was needed. The digital age never hit Nancy. She loved reading her books and newspapers. Nan was quiet, soft spoken and introspective by nature and a loyal friend to many. Nancy had a gambling spirit, frequently playing blackjack at many casinos and enjoying betting on the horses. She would watch horse racing on her tv and make her bets keeping tabs on her winnings.
Nancy leaves behind two sisters, Mary Harris and Elizabeth Mullins and long-time friend Bonnie Stewart as well as her four-legged pest named Buddy. She also leaves 5 nieces and nephews, Nancy Doty (Robert), Patricia McDavitt (Paul), Sean Mullins ( Pamela), Beth Devine ( Lawrence ) and Jay Mullins (Jennifer). Great nieces and nephews include Michael and Marissa Doty, Sam and Erin McDavitt, Avery and Patrick Devine and Meg and Sally Mullins,
The family would like to thank Athol Memorial Hospital and Tufts Medical Center for their compassionate caring during a difficult time.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, March 3, 2022 at 1 pm in the Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home 110 New Athol Road, Orange. Burial will follow in Greenlawn Cemetery, Baldwinville.
A calling hour will be held on Thursday from 12 – 1 pm in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers the family would ask that donations be given to the Athol Animal Shelter care of the Athol Police Department.
To send an online condolence please visit www.mackfamilyfh.com.
Fiske-Murphy & Mack Funeral Home, 110 New Athol Road, Orange is directing arrangements.