Nancy Carole Anne Pierce was born on June 28, 1942 in Pittsburgh, PA, the daughter of the late Margaret and Fred Pierce. She grew up in Mount Lebanon, PA as the fifth of seven children, with older brother, Fred, older sisters Pat, Joan and Rosemary, and younger brothers, John and Dan.
Nancy graduated from St Francis Academy High School before entering the Catholic Convent of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Baden, PA. Her decision to join the Convent was motivated in equal measure by devotion, a desire to serve, and an opportunity for a higher education. She would become the first in her family to receive a college education. She dedicated seven years of service teaching Catholic elementary school and earning a college degree in education before leaving the convent and entering the nursing profession.
Nancy received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Duquesne University Pittsburgh, PA. in June of 1970. She continued her education at Boston University, Boston, MA, receiving a M.S. in Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing in May 1972. Upon receiving her degree, she moved to Hyannis, MA and opened her first psychotherapy practice. She left the practice after a year and moved back to Boston where she became the Assistant Director of Nursing for Staff Development at Boston City Hospital. Two years later in June of 1975, she relocated to the Washington, DC area after being asked to establish the position of Psychiatric Liaison Nurse at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, MD.
She married John Erck on September 4, 1976 in Washington, DC and resided in McLean, VA until January 2003.
She remained at her position in Suburban Hospital until August 1977 when she joined the faculty of Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C. During her time at the University, she was appointed Chair of, and taught in the Graduate Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing Department, and she co-authored The American Association of Critical Care Nurses Core Curriculum. During this time, she also resumed, on a part-time basis, her practice of psychotherapy with Woodmont Psychiatric Associates, Bethesda, MD. She left Catholic University in June 1980 and resumed the full-time practice of psychotherapy with Woodmont Psychiatric Associates in June 1980. In 1982, she was asked to lead an American Delegation of Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurses on a Clinical Study tour of facilities in select Russian locations. She received an advanced certification in Couples and Family Therapy from the Center for the Study of Human Systems, Bethesda, MD in September 1983. In January 1985, she left Woodmont Psychiatric Associates and went out on her own becoming the first psychiatric nurse in the D.C. area to establish a solo practice. The practice thrived until her retirement in December 2001. In addition to her private practice, she served as a paid consultant to the National Institutes of Health from 1985 to 2001, providing consultation to a variety of health care professionals.
In January 2003 after her husband’s retirement, they traveled for more than 30 months across the United States, Mexico and Canada in a motorhome. It was their adventure of a lifetime. They purchased a home and settled in Mitchell in August 2005.
Shortly after arriving in Mitchell, Nancy began serving as the Program Manager for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for abused and neglected Children). She served in that capacity until 2010. She continued to serve on the CASA board In 2007, she began serving as an Adjunct member of the Nursing Faculty at Dakota Wesleyan. As a member of the University’s Parish Nursing Outreach Project, she regularly volunteered her services to monitor blood pressures of residents of the Wesley Acre Retirement Community. She was a member and Past President of the Mitchell Lion’s Club; she served on the Board of Mitchell Main Street and Beyond; she has served on the Board of the Mitchell area Concert Series and also on the Board of the Abbott House.
Nancy is survived by her loving husband, John. She is also survived by brothers, sisters and their spouses: Fred Pierce and his wife, Mary in Pittsburgh, PA, Patricia Getty and her husband Frank (deceased) in Bethel Park, PA., Joan Gross and her husband, Richard in Fairfield, OH; Rosemary Gray and her husband, John (both deceased) John Pierce and his wife Liz in Longview, TX Daniel Pierce and his wife Anne of Coral Springs, FL and by many loving nieces and nephews.