Dr. Nancy Marston Vanderpool

She is greatly missed by her husband of 62 years, Richard, her family, and her communities far and near.

Tacoma, Washington – Nancy Vanderpool passed away early Sunday, Nov. 20, 2022. She is greatly missed by her husband of 62 years, Richard, her family, and her communities far and near.

She was born March 9, 1936 in Portland, Oregon, to Karl and Margaret (Sherrell) Marston. Around 1948 her family moved to Arlington, Oregon. After graduating from Arlington High School in 1954, she matriculated at the University of Oregon, majoring in English. Over the winter holiday of her freshman year, while traveling by train as a delegate to the National Student Assembly held on the Kansas University campus in Lawrence, Kansas, she met Dick Vanderpool, a delegate from Linfield College. The spark was lit and, parting ways at the Portland Union Station in the new year, they agreed to correspond. Correspondence turned to courting, and they wed in 1959. Nancy earned her Master of Education in Student Personnel Administration from Syracuse University in 1960 and then worked as Assistant Dean of Women at Penn State University. In 1963, Nancy took advantage of their relative proximity to Washington D.C. and attended the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In 1966 Nancy and Dick moved with their young son to Havre, Montana and soon welcomed their daughter into the family. Hiring on as the Dean of Women at Northern Montana College where Dick was a history professor, Nancy worked for NMC from 1967 to 1979. Coordinating with an NMC colleague, Nancy was instrumental in starting the Havre Montessori Learning Center, the education from which her daughter cherishes to this day. Whether it was through Nancy’s work at the college, her time on the Havre School Board, or in the League of Women Voters, she had a knack for drawing out whatever problem a person was having and helping them feel listened to.

In 1979 the Vanderpools relocated to Corvallis, Oregon, where Nancy served as the Assistant Dean of Students at Oregon State University from 1979-1998. During that tenure she enabled the Panhellenic system to grow and thrive, advocated for the multiple campus cultural centers, and cared for all students. Also during her Oregon State tenure, she earned her PhD in 1987. Being surrounded by students, she took joy in mentoring many as they developed in their careers and life.

Following Dick’s retirement in 2000, Nancy and Dick relocated to Vashon Island, Washington where they made fast friends with their fellow church members and community. Among other community activities such as working with the neighborhood swimming pool and volunteering for the neighborhood emergency response team, Nancy was involved in the Vashon United Methodist Church. While brainstorming with two fellow church members on how best to help the homeless, the Vashon Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness (IFCH) was born. Nancy was a driving force with IFCH, encouraging the church to install showers for the shower program, to use the parking lot for trailer living when other options were not available, and to have their kitchen be in mission to support the homeless meal program. Right up until these last few years, she gave much of her time fielding IFCH phone calls to help people problem-solve the challenges in their lives.

Nancy and Dick had the good fortune to be able to travel often, to three other continents and many countries, with Nancy reading extensively about each country prior to their travels. Living on the island they had the benefit of close community while having the accessibility of the big city and regular trips into Seattle to go to the Seattle Symphony. Early in her Vashon years, Nancy treasured the time babysitting two of her grandkids in their preschool years, which helped her daughter go back to work part-time, as well as babysitting her other five grandkids on the few occasions when her son and daughter-in-law traveled away from home. Nancy is predeceased by her parents. She is survived by her husband Dick Vanderpool, son Franklin Vanderpool (Lisa), daughter Ann Vanderpool- Kimura (Nori), sister Pam Wachter, seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild, and several nieces and nephews.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, December 17, 2022, at Vashon Island United Methodist Church (masking requested). Memorial contributions can be sent to Vashon’s Interfaith Council to Prevent Homelessness (https://ifchvashon.org/).