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Nancy Tarpein

Senior Board of Ambassadors

I was born Nancy Lee Prescott on July 22, 1935 in Wellington, Kansas. I went to thirteen schools before I was out of the eighth grade. I did not finish my high school because one night I awoke to hear my folks discussing their finances, and then heard mom say they would keep my sister out of school for two years while I finished high school. My dad told her she could not get away with that and she said because my sister had had rheumatic fever she could convince the doctor to help by claiming my sister would benefit from not attending school. My knowing how cruel children can be on a child that is behind their peers in school, I immediately told my parents that I wanted to quit school and get a job; even though that was the furthest thing from what I wanted. I started out working all sorts of minimum wage jobs.

Later I moved to Oklahoma and married and raised two children. Moved back to Colorado in 1974 and married again in 1980. My second husband Fred, who died in 2002, was my soul mate. Fred died in November, 2002. All my life I worked minimum wage jobs. Until in 1988 I was forced to retire on Social Security. I have had fourteen surgeries on my right leg alone besides numerous other surgeries.

In 1995 when I turned 60 years old I became a Foster Grandparent. I can truly say I have done very little in my life that is as satisfying as the last 14 years working with underprivileged children. In 2007 I asked to fill out a questionnaire that asked if I could do anything I wanted what was my greatest desire and I wrote that I would go to Arizona to visit my daughter who is fighting cancer. Little did I know that questionnaire was for the Jeremy Bloom Wish of a Lifetime Foundation and in October 2007 I spent three days with my daughter. What a glorious visit with my family. I am forever grateful to the Foundation and anyone else who granted my wish. By the way, my daughter is still fighting her battle. I pray every day that she is winning her battle but only Our Father knows for certain.