Nancy E. Olsen Ross

Nancy Ellen Olsen Ross, 80, daughter of A. William Olsen and Ida Field, passed away peacefully June 14, 2020 from mesothemeola at home in Kingston, Rhode Island.  She was surrounded by family, Neil Williams Ross (husband of 55 years), children Lincoln, Brook, Heather, and, daughter-n-law Christina, with four grandchildren. She also leaves her brother Richard Olsen and his family in California and her brother’s Bill Olsen’s family in New Zealand. Nancy, was born in April 4, 1940 in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and grew up in Cranston, Rhode Island. Her remaining brother Richard Olsen and respective families live in California and New Zealand. She is also predeceased by two brothers Bill and Jacky.

After graduating from Cranston High School in 1958, she started a life of adventures, hitchhiking around Norway, Denmark and Sweden, and remaining in Norway as a nanny. After graduating from Marietta College, she served two years in the Peace Corps in 1962 in Thailand. On September 11, 1965 she married Neil Ross at their Phillips Memorial Church in Cranston, For two years they worked at America’s first Job Corps Center, teaching high school dropouts in Kentucky. They returned to Rhode Island in 1968 and raised a family in Kingston, with exception of living one year in Indonesia in 1982-83. Throughout her adult life, she taught reading and English. She received two English as a Second Language (ESL) Masters Degrees from Rhode Island College and a second at Brown University Nancy worked 26 years teaching in South Kingstown’s Public School System.

Throughout her adult life, she taught reading and English. She received two English as a Second Language (ESL) Masters Degrees from Rhode Island College and Brown University and worked 26 years in South Kingstown’s Public School System.  In her free time, she also volunteered with South Providence Neighborhood Ministries and four summers in a girl’s orphanage in Romania.

Nancy’s greatest passion was learning about people and cultures. She believed that you could always learn something meaningful and valuable from each and every person. In this way, she created and kept close and meaningful connections with her friends, some dating back to 2nd grade. She always made her home welcomed to others and made ‘extended’ families everywhere she went. Her bravery and passion for travels took her on multiple road trips with dear friends both near and far.

For those who knew it was not surprising to find that she had a real international family and kept in close contact with her children and grandchildren who lived in Indonesia and Namibia (Southern Africa). Her love and kindness for everyone, including those most vulnerable, will forever be cherished by her friends and family across the globe.

In honor of her memory and in lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Kingston Congregational Church (2610 Kingstown Rd, Kingston, RI 02881), and/or to her daughter Heather’s newly founded non-profit Namibian Partnership Solutions (

A Memorial Service for Nancy Ross will be celebrated at Kingston Congregational Church will be announced after the pandemic allows full church services. Please share favorite memories of Nancy at

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