IN MEMORIAM: Nancy G. Harvey

by Jane Ahrens

Nancy G. Harvey, a dedicated mother, community volunteer, and teacher, known for her generous spirit and the twinkle in her eye, died peacefully on May 1 at her home in Towson. She was 92.

Nancy Criswell Gross was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1923, the daughter of Brigadier General Henry M. Gross and Elizabeth Bailey Gross. She and her four siblings were raised in Harrisburg and in Eaglesmere, PA, where Nancy’s sometimes mischievous nature emerged. Nancy graduated from the Seiler School, and then St. Timothy’s School in 1941.

Nancy always said that St. Timothy’s gave her a great spiritual foundation.   She was drawn to teaching because of this and her many years of taking care of her much younger brother, Skip. Nancy went on to Bryn Mawr College, where a child psychology course led her to seek out more specialized training in teaching. At that point, Nancy transferred to the Child Education Foundation, in New York City. She enjoyed all the things that New York had to offer in the early 1940’s, including student teaching in many schools across the City. She said she learned one of the best lessons about teaching from a teacher in Harlem, who created a positive learning environment through her kind and firm teaching style.

She completed the teacher education program at the Child Education Foundation, graduated from New York University in 1946, and subsequently received a teaching certificate from the State of New York.

Nancy then moved to Baltimore and joined the faculty at Calvert School, where she further developed her capacities in teaching.

Nancy married Robert Dixon Hopkins Harvey in February 1953, in Harrisburg, PA. The couple settled in Baltimore, and Nancy left teaching to focus on her family and community efforts.

Those community volunteer efforts were extensive. Nancy’s outgoing nature and strong commitment led her to be a natural leader and an adept fundraiser. She joined the board of the Union Memorial Hospital in 1953, serving continuously for more than thirty years and was elected chair of the Union Memorial board in 1977. Nancy helped lead the hospital through an extraordinary time of growth, including fundraising, design and construction of the North Building in the late 1970’s. Nancy was dedicated to supporting the hospital’s commitment to providing health care to underserved communities. Nancy also served on the Board of Trustees of St. Timothy’s School from 1964-2016 in almost every capacity, including Chair of the Executive Committee from 1973 -1983, member of the Search Committee, the Land Use Planning Committee, the Strategic Planning Committee, as well as the Development  Committee.

Her community work extended to Episcopal Social Ministries, the National Cathedral Association, and the YWCA. Nancy was also an active member of the St. George’s Garden Club, and the Maryland Daffodil Society. The hillside below her home was a sea of many varieties daffodils in the springtime – their planting and care was a labor of love for Nancy.

The church and spirituality had a central role in Nancy’s life.   She was an active member of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, 5603 N. Charles St., where funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, May 17.

Mrs. Harvey is survived by three daughters and their spouses, Ellen D. Harvey (Tad Sperry) of Philadelphia, Anne N.C. Harvey (Jan Pickard) of Coupeville, Wa., and Jane W. Harvey (Charles Curtis) of Seattle, Wa.; a son and his spouse, R. Dixon H. Harvey Jr. (Janet) of Sparks; a sister, Martha Gross Morrison, of Harrisburg; and seven grandchildren.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Timothy’s School,, Episcopal Community Services of Maryland,, or St. John’s Church of Fishers Island, P.O. Box 505, Fishers Island, NY 06390.

Featured Photo

USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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