Nancy Elisabeth House passed away unexpectedly on June 19, 2015, her 53rd birthday. Born in Goldsboro, North Carolina to William and Margaret Gray, Nancy and her four siblings moved frequently because of their father’s service in the Air Force. After living in North Carolina, the Grays eventually settled in Salina, where Nancy graduated from Salina Central High School.
She graduated from Emporia State University, where she was an all-American track and field athlete. Athletics continued to be a major passion throughout Nancy’s life – she was a marathon runner, a competitive weightlifter, and a tennis, volleyball, and weightlifting coach. Nancy’s career as an educator included meaningful work at Emporia State University, as an academic advisor at the University of Akron, and as a mathematics teacher and coach at Olathe South High School. She was so beloved by students, faculty, and staff that an impromptu vigil the day after her death brought over 100 people together to celebrate her life. Nancy spent much of her life helping the underdog. She tutored anyone who needed help, and used the money she earned from tutoring to help underprivileged students at Olathe South. She adopted dogs no one wanted or cared for anymore. She realized the beauty in imperfection, celebrated those who didn’t fit in, believed in those who didn’t believe in themselves, pushed those she cared about to do the best they could and give their all at life, and was the loudest cheerleader in the room for those she loved.
There is no one on earth Nancy loved more than her only child, her son, Ryan. Being his mother was the absolute joy of her life and the most important role she undertook. Family and friends will deeply miss her infectious laugh, smile, happy disposition, fearlessness, and zest for life.
She is survived by Ryan, his wife, Molly, her siblings Betsy, Charlie (Andrea), Rob (Danette), and Lin (Kayla), and scores of friends she loved like family.
Donations may be made to the Nancy E. House Memorial Scholarship fund c/o Enterprise Bank and Trust 11970 South Blackbob Road, Olathe, KS 66062.
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