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Nancy Harrison Memorial Scholarship Fund

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Nancy Harrison was passionate about many things – foremost among them higher education and caring for others. She pursued a degree while raising four children, graduating from the nursing program at Elgin Community College and becoming a Registered Nurse in 1979. To say that Nancy promoted the importance of college would be a profound understatement. She counseled, encouraged, advised, guided and sometimes even cajoled her children, grandchildren, their friends and virtually every young person she met, of the merits of going to college.

Nancy’s many years of working as a nurse – often assuming the responsibilities of being charge nurse and on the code team in addition to caring for her own patients – frequently brought her into the lives of people who were dying or losing a loved one. She had an innate ability to put her patients at ease and, as the ultimate testament to her gifts, was often specifically requested by patients she had cared for previously. A fervent advocate for her patients, Nancy went to great lengths to alleviate her patients’ suffering with her unique combination of humor, incomparable care and kindness. 

Nancy’s inherent sense of compassion, along with her experience as a nurse, imbued her with an ardent belief in the importance of being allowed to die at home. She personally enabled her youngest brother to follow this path, bringing him, his wife and their two young children into her home, nursing her brother through to the end.  In turn, Nancy’s family was able to honor her wishes, in part due to the kindness and assistance of an extraordinary young man, who inspired this memorial scholarship fund. Jeff Celis, a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) who is in nursing school, showed Nancy the same sort of consideration and care that Nancy had shown to so many over the course of her lifetime. Jeff took time the time to learn about Nancy (her life, her family, her passions, her hobbies) before meeting her. He guided her family as they grappled to prepare for this last stage of Nancy's life. Intently focused on Nancy’s comfort and peace of mind, Jeff effortlessly managed to ease her anxiety and tend to her needs. Although he only cared for Nancy for a short time, this young man’s tender and considerate care had a profound impact – not only on Nancy’s final days but also on the loved ones who were helping to care for her.

Therefore, in keeping with Nancy’s legacy of having helped so many individuals during her lifetime – friends, family and strangers alike – the family has established this Nancy Harrison Memorial Nursing Scholarship Fund to help facilitate this amazing young man’s education and the education of other young people who evince a similar generosity of spirit, kindness of heart and commitment to caring for others.  Nancy’s daughter, Jean Francissen, will administer this fund and all donations will be used solely to further the higher educational pursuits of others.


  • Robert Bartlett
    • $115 
    • 3 yrs
  • Julie Suto
    • $75 
    • 3 yrs
  • Marjorie Svanoe
    • $100 
    • 3 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • $500 
    • 3 yrs
  • Adam SUTO
    • $50 
    • 3 yrs


Jean Francissen
Saint Charles, IL

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