Nancy C. Ross

May 10, 2018

On May 10, 2018, Nancy Camp Ross, our beloved Mom, and wife of Larry Ross, passed peacefully of natural causes, surrounded by all of her children, escorting her home with words of comfort and love.

Nancy Ames Camp was born the first of 4 children on December 26, 1938, in New York City, to Raymond Russell and Nancy Bigelow Camp. Her affection for her mother was pronounced. She would tell stories of her mother’s love for animals, which was surely passed onto Nancy for she had a savior’s calling throughout her life for every stray or injured animal she found. She took to her father adoringly, who was an avid outdoorsman and writer for the NY Times and associate editor of Field and Stream magazine.  With such means, she enjoyed a childhood life both of the city, where she developed her love for fashion and style, and of summers in Madison, CT, where she formed her love of the ocean. 

Summers would find Nancy virtually living at the Madison Beach Club. She owned a Zip sailboat and often competed in the club’s racing activities. Unfortunately, she generally chose her crew members more for their social skills than their sailing acumen, and while she exceled at sneaking her friends into the club, it was rare that her boat ever finished better than dead last.

While in attendance at Katherine Gibbs School in 1958, she accepted the invitation of a blind date at West Point, who, as fate would have it, was late for the engagement. Waiting in the wings was a handsome West Point cadet, Larry Ross, who took the opportunity to introduce himself to the dark-haired beauty and set in motion what was to become a marriage of 56 years. He proposed to her Easter weekend in Central Park in 1959, and they would marry later that same year in her hometown of Madison, CT. And so began their life together, and her life as a military wife.

Their life as an Army family would not have been the success it was without Nancy’s support and dedication. In their 26 years in the military, Larry and Nancy moved almost as many times: first born and only son, Douglas Lawrence, was born in Fort Benning, GA in 1960; daughter Elizabeth Nancy was born in Frankfurt, Germany in 1962; daughter Cathryn Ames, in Lafayette, IN, in 1965; and their last child, daughter Jennifer Lynne, was born in Fort Campbell, KY, in 1972.

After each of those nearly 26 moves, she transformed military quarters after military quarters into a beautiful home with an evolving sense and natural talent for interior design. In 1985, Larry and Nancy retired and moved to Peterborough, NH, and would move again in 2007 to Dublin.  Working tirelessly together, they undertook the renovation and remodeling of each home, maintaining their antique charm while executing her vision of space. She decorated each home with her unique flair for incorporating vintage furniture and textiles. As an acknowledgment of her talent, their homes were featured twice in Better Homes and Gardens and New England Home magazines.

She enjoyed her life in the Peterborough area, and Nancy was a familiar face to many at the downtown shops where she enjoyed working part-time and stopping in to do her shopping. As a result, she formed numerous friendships and created a sense of community and home after a life of many moves.

During one of their many snowy New England winters, Nancy and Larry decided to winter in South Carolina; she relished the ocean and daily walks on the beach, collecting sand dollars, taking joy at the sight of dolphins, and planning her day by the coming and going of the high tide. She continued these winter escapes even after Larry passed, packing up her cat, and companion, Temple, and enlisting the driving services of her daughter, Jen, for the 16-hour mother-daughter conversation-marathon road trip.  While in SC, she very much looked forward to the visits from her family, giving them each cherished one-on-one time.

She spent a lifetime travelling at Larry’s side, visiting numerous countries in Europe and Asia, and they explored Nova Scotia together by car as a wonderful celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary. In 2016, everyone gathered for Christmas in Santa Barbara, CA, for what became an occasion we would later be so grateful for, as it would be Larry’s last Christmas. He passed a few months later and Mom’s emotional strength and connection with her children helped her endure the loss of her lifetime companion and soulmate.

These last 2 years on her own, she enjoyed the benefit of her good health that allowed her to be independent and active. She worked in her gardens, went on shopping excursions to Boston, was always decorating her home, and the homes of her kids, and never missed a family gathering or celebration. She would routinely make the short drive over to Greenfield where she liked to go for walks on Muzzey Hill with her daughter, Cathy, and enjoy her animals. She traveled to California to visit her oldest daughter, Liz; to Texas to stay with her son, Doug; and recently, went up to Quebec City to help decorate an Old Port condo with her youngest daughter Jen, with whom she also went to Scotland last summer for a trip that each regarded as a meaningful experience of a lifetime.

At the beautiful age of 79, our mom has done her part magnificently. She has lived a purposeful, wonderful and rich life, with a mother’s focus and devotion for her family – raising 4 adults who each secretly believe they are her favorite child, and instilling in each of us a strong sense of family and amazing bonds with each other.  We will always be forever grateful to Mom for her limitless love, support and guidance.

We are blessed with grace and peace; she has gone home now to her beloved husband, and our dad, Larry.  They shared a deep love and a devotion that never subsided, and we’re certain our Dad was, once again, waiting patiently in the wings for their reunion in heaven. They will rest in peace together in the family plot in Sleepy Hollow, NY, and it is a reunion that has brought us terrific comfort, and we are certain, a terrific happiness for them both.

Nancy is preceded in death by her parents, Raymond and Nancy Camp, and is survived by her 4 children and their families: Doug and his wife, Linny, and their four children, Erin, Heather, Calvin and Casey; Liz, and her two children, Ross and Roxanne; Cathy, and her animal family, Finley, Grace and Dream; Jen and her husband and doting son-in-law, Josh, and their two children, Emerson and Camden; her devoted brother, Raymond Camp, Jr., in Madison, CT; her sister, Susan Searle who lives in Portugal; and her many loving nieces and nephews.

A memorial for Nancy is being  planned for Columbus Day Weekend in Peterborough.


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