Nancy Lynn (Mack) Gasowski

May 18, 1940 ~ March 29, 2022 (age 81)

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To have made even one person's life a little better, that is to succeed.

~ Henry David Thoreau


The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.

~ Dalai Lama


Nancy Lynn Gasowski, known for her kind heart, warm compassion and lifelong interest in making meaningful connections with everyone she met, died in her Tempe, Arizona home on Tuesday, March 29, 2022. 


Nancy was born in Allen Park, Michigan, to parents Kenneth and Elgie Mack, where she was raised with her two older brothers, Ronald and Donald.  Nancy met her husband of 56 years, Ron, in Michigan, where the young couple married.  Ron fell in love with Nancy for many reasons, and always says "she is the nicest person I ever met".  Others would agree -- to know Nancy was to love Nancy.  


Shortly after marrying, the newlyweds headed West.  They initially landed in Seattle, Washington, where son Timon was born in 1968.  During that same year, the young family moved to Oakland, California.  In 1971, the family moved to Tempe, Arizona, where son Sam was born a few years later.  The family soon settled in a new home near Arizona State University, where Ron and Nancy raised their boys.  After the boys left their childhood home, Ron and Nancy stayed put, continued their careers and enjoyed each other's company.  In their retirement, the couple split time between Tempe and Puerto Peñasco, Mexico. 


Nancy was a working woman.  She started her career in Detroit in the insurance industry.  Later, she worked for the Burrows Adding Machine Company as a statistical typist.  At Burrows, she earned a government security clearance, which helped her land a job at Lockheed Ship Building when Ron and Nancy moved to Seattle.  Once in Arizona, Nancy first worked for Motorola and Kaplan Testing Centers.  After that, she served her community working for Tempe School District No. 3 at Getz School -- a specialty school for students with developmental delays.  After Getz, Nancy moved to the Tempe Union High School District, where she worked with several area high schools as a job coach for special needs students.  In that role, Nancy was a liaison between the student and local employers and helped train the students for their new jobs. 


Nancy loved to travel, camp and fish.  She enjoyed a wide variety of destinations, which included striking out on the open road for cross-country weeks-long family road trips, camping in the White Mountains in Northeastern Arizona, adventuring throughout Europe, and enjoying the beach in Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.  The beach was Nancy's "happy place”, and she loved the beach in "Rocky Point", where she would fish, collect seashells, walk and just relax - soaking in the ocean air. 


Nancy also loved to walk.  Mostly she walked Hudson Manor, her neighborhood of 50 years, but she walked wherever her life took her, including the beaches in Mexico and while visiting friends and family throughout the US.  Her walks were punctuated by both brief and extended chit-chats with her neighbors, during which they compared notes on family, friends, neighborhood news and current events.  Often, Nancy spoke to others about her boys and her mother, Elgie.  Nancy also loved to share news and updates about her grandchildren, Otto (12) and Emme (9), who called Nancy "Nano".


Nano was also an avid knitter.  She made a multitude of things, and took supreme delight in making hats, gloves, vests, and stuffed animals for her grandchildren.


Nancy and her mother had a wonderfully close relationship.  They were directly aligned on life's most important matters - being kind, "paying it forward" and having profound gratitude for life's blessings.  Over time, they grew even closer and always enjoyed each other's company.  Nancy was profoundly proud -- as she should be -- of Elgie's longevity, who lived to 102.  Elgie was a lifelong Quaker and after Elgie's passing, Nancy honored her mother by continuing Elgie's Quaker-inspired legacy of kindness, compassion, and love.  This was captured by the closing Elgie frequently used in her letters and cards: "Oceans of Love", which was first coined by Elgie's mother. 


Family and friends will remember Nancy working away in the kitchen - although for her, it was never work.  She liked to cook, and she loved to nurture with food.  Everyone close to Nancy can attest to her culinary skills.  She was a chef before it was cool and a foodie before it was a thing.  She had a wide and deep culinary repertoire and had go-to dishes from several types of ethnic cuisines.  And, regardless of whether it was one of her go-to dishes or something she whipped up without planning, the outcome was always delicious.  In her younger years, Nano wasn't afraid to knock back a few Old Style beers . . . and over time, her palate became more sophisticated at which point she enjoyed Keystone Light.


In summary, the essence of Nancy was a loving and devoted wife and mother who was perennially concerned for others' well-being, right up until the very end. 


Nancy is survived by her husband Ron, sons Timon and Sam, daughters-in-law Susan (Stapleton) and Lynn (Brynildson), brother Ron Mack and grandchildren Otto and Emme.  She is preceded in passing by her father Kenneth, mother Elgie and brother Donald.


The family is planning a memorial service for Nancy to take place later in 2022.  The Gasowskis will notify family and close friends of the details in the coming weeks.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to charitable organizations that were meaningful to Nancy:


American Friends Service Committee

Key Issues: Advancing Peacebuilding; Humane Migration Responses; Healing, Not Punitive, Justice; Just Economics


American Heart Association

Key Issues: Cardiovascular medical research, Consumers education on healthy living; Foster cardiac care to reduce disability and death caused by cardiovascular disease and stroke


St. Mary's Foodbank

Key Issues: Arizona-centric hunger alleviation through gathering and distribution of food while encouraging self-sufficiency, collaboration, advocacy and education.

Richardson Funeral Home, Tempe, Arizona is compassionately serving the Gasowski family.

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