Nancy passed away at her home in Port Townsend, July 14, surrounded by her family and friends just as she wished.
Nancy was born to Charles and Margaret Gearhart in Minneapolis, Minn. but spent the majority of her childhood and professional life in the San Fransisco Bay Area of California.
Nancy worked for many years as a nurse-midwife and women’s health nurse practitioner. She received her master’s degree in family health nursing along with her nurse practitioner and nurse-midwifery certificates from the University of California, San Francisco.
During her studies at the University of California, Berkeley for her master’s in public health, she became interested in the vulnerability of women with HIV. She additionally took 32 graduate units in anthropology at Stanford University. She received her PhD from the University of California, San Francisco, doing her research in Zimbabwe and Tanzania on the prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV.
She completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Francisco in the prevention and treatment of HIV. Her ongoing research was centered on the sexual behaviors and reproductive choices of HIV-infected women in under-developed countries. She is published, and presented her work in professional forums nationally and internationally.
She finished her career as an associate professor and co-founder of Insight World Aid, a non-profit humanitarian organization providing medical care to underdeveloped communities internationally.
Nancy is survived by her younger sister, son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren, as well as many friends both in Port Townsend and the San Francisco Bay Area.
An intimate memorial service was held Aug. 14 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Port Townsend. St. Paul’s and the members of its congregation welcomed Nancy and made her feel connected to her community during her retirement in Washington.
Donations can be made in her name to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 753, Port Townsend, WA 98368.