Nancy Ann Whitmer

September 6, 1948


February 12, 2021

Nancy Ann Whitmer

September 6, 1948


February 12, 2021

Heaven welcomed a special Angel on Feb. 12, 2021. Nancy Ann Whitmer passed away peacefully in her home with family by her side. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. Mom’s greatest gift was loving everyone right where they were in life and making everyone feel heard and seen. Mom’s love language was a special “hello sunshine” greeting, hugs, baked goods and feeding anyone who came to her house.

Nancy was born on Sept. 6, 1948, to Newman and Doris (Olson) Olsgaard in Jamestown, ND. Newman was a traveling salesman and Doris worked as an accountant at Whites Drug; both were active in the local Masonic community. Her older sister, Beth, was her best friend and partner in crime as they tackled life together from marriage, children, sickness, loss of their father and brother, Dave. Mom adored her younger brother, John, so much so that she charged the neighborhood kids a nickel to hold him, and forever pinched her pennies thereafter. Although John and his family lived in South Carolina, they shared long conversations and laughed together over the years. A great sense of humor was an Olsgaard family hallmark. Mom’s laughter instantly filled a room with joy and she always had a twinkle in her eye.

Nancy graduated from Jamestown High School and her classmates revered her exceptional kindness — she was a friend to everyone. In 1968, she leaped into her next big chapter of life and took a train with her best friend Madelyn to Billings and started her amazing 49-year career in banking with Norwest (Wells Fargo). Lloyd and Elenore Lee, friends of her own parents, we her another set of parents and helped her transition to life in Billings. Friends Mom worked with at Wells Fargo shared her lifelong commitment of caring for others and were another branch of her family tree. Through the years, they shared deep friendships and cared for one another as each decade passed. Another special gift was Mom’s compassion when working with the elderly and assisting those who are often overlooked. She volunteered to balance checkbooks at assisted living, and for elderly friends who dropped off their check registers at the house.

Mom met her sweetheart and husband of 50 years, Tom, at a New Year’s Eve party six months after he returned from Vietnam in 1969. Dad immediately fell in love with the Jamestown girl who baked bread and wore cowgirl boots, and even brought her to meet his family two weeks later. They married that following Thanksgiving and raised two daughters, Chris and Eileen. Throughout years of work and raising two daughters, she was constantly aware of the needs of others.

Mom did it all. She worked full time, always had dinner on the table, supported musical and athletic endeavors and still found time to read romance novels. Mom empowered her daughters to reach for the sky and commit to their dreams no matter how tough times might be. She tirelessly prayed for them as they pursued careers, started families and dusted them off when they needed it. Mom especially enjoyed baking cookies with her grandchildren, Tate, Lilly and Porter, and was delighted when they left the kitchen smiling and devouring the batter.

Nancy is remembered by many for her unlimited capacity to love everyone around her. She maintained a steady correspondence of cheery cards and notes to friends and family everywhere. Notes that continued even as her health declined. Attending church was a standing appointment and God was an essential part of her life. Her faith in God found a home at Peace Lutheran Church, where she enjoyed livestreamed services for many years. Mom’s heavenly welcoming committee of loving family members rejoice on the clouds with this special reunion.

Nancy is preceded in death by her parents, Newman and Doris (Olson) Olsgaard of Jamestown, ND; siblings, Mary Beth (Vern and Linda Anderson) of Bismarck, ND, Dave (Addy Chambers) of Jamestown, ND, John (Jane Olsgaard) of Columbia, SC. Nancy is survived by her husband, Tom; daughters Christine Soileau (Scott) and Eileen Purcell; Aunt June Lund (Al) of Bismarck, ND; five grandchildren, Brian, Tori and Porter Soileau, Tate Fox and Lillian Purcell; two great-grandchildren, Estelle and Brixton Soileau; numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family wishes to express their deepest thanks and appreciation for the Gallagher family and staff at Compassus Hospice during the last days of her life. The love and care of Mom and her family was truly exceptional. We were all so blessed.

A public visitation will be from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 19, at Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary. A private ceremony is being held for immediate family on Feb. 20, at 11 a.m. and the public may view the service by livestream. A graveside ceremony will be follow at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, at Mountview Cemetery.

Link to Peace Lutheran Church website:

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10 thoughts on “Nancy Ann Whitmer”

  1. In the spring of 1969, Tom’s brother, Warren (C-Ball), traveled to Denver for a medical follow-up. During his visit with us he mentioned that Tom had met a lady, Nancy, and the relationship was getting quite serious. One of the things Tom found most impressive about Nancy was that she could “double clutch” his pick-up truck and never stall it out. Truly a match made in Heaven that lasted 50 years. Our sincere condolences to all of you.
    Tom and Gwen Moore, Littleton, CO

  2. I’m so sorry to read of Nancy’s passing. She was a classmate I’ll always remember as a funny, kind, a bit mischievous and always upbeat gal with a wonderfully outgoing personality I really envied. My sincere sympathy to her entire family.

    Susanne (Susie Rieker)

  3. Nancy and I laughed more than once over the crazy teenagers while visiting on the phone.
    She was a true lady with that bright smile and made u feel immediately comfortable In her home.
    The sky has been lit with your brilliance Nancy. U will forever shine!💜👼

  4. Nancy was a force of nature at Wells Fargo (formerly Norwest Bank). I met Nancy the day before my first day of work at Norwest Bank. She was a common sense banker like my father. I liked her immediately. Nancy took loving care of Smokey, who monitored the bank lobby. She helped Smokey keep his purpose and dignity for many years. Nancy helped the Winegardner family in many ways. One couldn’t ask for a more kind and empathic woman. I believe they might have broken the “Nancy” mold upon her birth. I will always treasure the empathy Nancy taught me during a really sad time.

  5. When I was growing up, Nancy was my “other mother” and she treated me just like another daughter. I have fond memories of her soft chocolate chip cookies, yummy sticky caramel buns, her beautiful voice singing “You are my Sunshine”, and going over to her house with my mother wearing our pajamas! She rescued my hair from Barbie doll egg beaters in a “salon gone wild” moment and was our champion in saving a spinning chair from the garbage dump. I am a mother myself now, and I am in constant awe of the great example that she gave to me while I was young. She will be greatly missed! I found this poem that I wrote for her on her 60th birthday, and I feel she still deserves this “toast”!

    Both casual and fancy, she’s a wonder, our Nancy,
    She is down-to-earth, with the grace of a queen.
    She can wear a housecoat, and look “smashing”, I quote
    It’s her attitude that keeps her as young as a teen.

    She’s a whiz with an oven, and shows all her lovin’
    Baking cookies and warm, sticky buns.
    She’ll welcome you in, with that beautiful grin,
    And say, “Try one of these, won’t you, Hon?”

    She’s a savior, a hero, a saint with no fear-o
    Pulling from Barbie beaters snarled up hair,
    When our quiet-loving dads started to get mad,
    She saved our beloved spinning chair!

    You will find no other, greater friend, wife or mother,
    Than Nancy, and this is a fact.
    So raise your glass of fine wine, for this lovely “Sunshine”
    She is truly an extraordinary class-act!

  6. Michelle Whitmer Chadek

    Aunt Nancy always gave me a safe place to land when the world was feeling tough. She sent me cards….something so small but made me feel like I meant something to someone. I was lucky enough to talk with my beautiful Aunt recently and expressed my appreciation and love to her. An angel indeed. Goodbye Sunshine. Until we meet again. I love you.

  7. I knew Nancy before I ever met her. My dad told me what a great gal cousin Tom had married, and from a man who didn’t lavish praise, I knew she was something special. And when I met her, she was all dad said she was and more. It wasn’t so much what she did as how she did it – with enthusiasm and love. You could feel it.
    Nancy, you were a great role model…

  8. Louie (Lura LeFevre

    I remember right after Tom met Nancy. I asked him if he had a girlfriend. He answered with a grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye, “well …. there’s a good lookin little corn tusker down at the bank.” And , as they say, “the rest is history.” Nancy was the most delightful, down to earth person I’ve ever met; she connected to everyone. It didn’t matter if we hadn’t seen each other in ages, she still made me feel welcome and right at home. She will be greatly missed
    Nancy, You will always be our sunshine!

  9. What a beautiful life story of a woman who clearly loved everyone where ever they were at in any given moment. This is what Jesus asks of all of us. It seems that she made it part of her every day life. Clearly, an angel has returned to our Heavenly Father. May God be with the surviving family members as they grieve during this difficult time.

  10. Her attitude, that twinkle in her eye, and that awesome laugh and fun we had.
    I have thought of her and I would just smile. What a classmate she was!

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