Nancy Rollins Gantz
Name in High School: Nancy Rollins
Favorite High School Memories: Since I attended three high schools during the four years, my best memory are the friends I made and still keep in touch with from all the high schools. I started my freshman to the beginning of sophomore year in Woodland, California and it was very difficult for me to hear we were moving from surfin’ USA and leaving all my friends to the cold, wet, rainy northwest…Oregon? Funny how we adjust. I spent the last half of my sophomore year at Lake Oswego High School and then we moved to Portland and I had my last two years at Wilson.
The favorite memory is the time spent with Janet, Diane, Michelle and Kris goofing off on the weekend. Selling lemonade or giving away pizza to the steamed up windows on Council Crest on Friday night.oops, was one of my classmates in one of those cars? Or, taking off for the ocean or Farrell’s for ice cream and Caro Amico Italian Cafe for pizza.
Swimming in the summer and skiing every weekend in the winter all four years with my younger brother. A memory from my freshman year in Woodland, California was my first time on skis and going up on the ski club bus. Some friends of my older brother who was a senior said ‘come on, Nancy, take the gondola up to Squaw Peak with us as there is a rope tow at the top’! So gullible me I went with them and when we got to the top and no rope tow… so I slid down on my rear to the bottom. Never listened to them again and was mad at my brother for laughing when he heard about it! Very embarrassing.
Favorite Teachers: Woodland High School: many; Lake Oswego High School: many
Wilson High School: Anna Friday, Cliff Matousek, Phil Reed, Margaret Obberteuffer, Caroline Miller, *Susan Coffman who signed my yearbook in Arabic which could have been an omen that I would also be able to do that in the future? And Mary Torrey who was very nice but I did not learn anything (probably because ‘homemaking’ was not on my priority list when I got out of high school).
Life’s Quotes: And, being a crazy quote person these have been with me a long time. The Paradoxical Commandments were written and published in 1968…how absolutely timely for a new high school graduate.and I have hung on to them since.
The Paradoxical Commandments
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
— Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council (Written in 1968)
“It is never too late to be what you might have been. ” — George Eliot
“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Rob Siltanen
“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” — Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!
“This life is what you make it. No matter what, you’re going to mess up sometimes, it’s a universal truth. But the good part is you get to decide how you’re going to mess it up. Girls will be your friends – they’ll act like it anyway. But just remember, some come, some go. The ones that stay with you through everything – they’re your true best friends. Don’t let go of them. Also remember, sisters make the best friends in the world. As for lovers, well, they’ll come and go too. And baby, I hate to say it, most of them – actually pretty much all of them are going to break your heart, but you can’t give up because if you give up, you’ll never find your soulmate. You’ll never find that half who makes you whole and that goes for everything. Just because you fail once, doesn’t mean you’re gonna fail at everything. Keep trying, hold on, and always, always, always believe in yourself, because if you don’t, then who will, sweetie? So keep your head high, keep your chin up, and most importantly, keep smiling, because life’s a beautiful thing and there’s so much to smile about.” — Marilyn Monroe
Name: Nancy Rollins Gantz
Children: Step-children who have blessed my life.
Christopher 44 years old with three children.
Aimee 42 years old with two girls.
Grandchildren: Chloe just graduated from Sunset High School and is in her first year at the University of Oregon. Kendal is 16. Carson is 14. Julianne…’Jewel’ is 10. Elizabeth.. .’Zibby’ is 8
Occupation: International healthcare consultant, author, speaker, educator, researcher.
Favorite Pastimes: My pastimes have evolved through the years but I am always busy and engaged in countless things. Writing and reading mystery novels seems to get me back to ‘center’ as well as a great enjoyment. But I have loved outdoor sports such as skiing in Switzerland, biking through Ireland, swimming the ocean in Australia, desert trekking in Saudi Arabia, exploring the vineyards of South Africa, riding elephants in Thailand and Arabian horses and camels in Saudi Arabia, collecting artifacts from Hong Kong/China/Japan/Malaysia, enhancing my compilation of sea shells and unique rocks from the oceans/seashores around the globe, or discovering the countless museums, galleries and arts centers in Europe. Now the challenge is how to downsize all the ‘collected works’ and anthologies accumulated from the past four decades. Throw it away? Give it away? Bury it in the ground?
I continue to swim and set off to the ocean when time permits. I am still working and involved locally, nationally and internationally with several nursing and healthcare organizations. My mother is 92 so I am limited with work involvement as she is my number one priority. Having served as President of numerous organizations I now take a more passive and operational role. A work in progress is a second book that speaks to the time spent in the Middle East as a blonde, blue-eyed woman executive!
Traveling the globe to find new adventures or check off something from my bucket list or visiting friends is always a diversion at this point in my life!
Highlights of My Life Since High School: The past fifty years have blessed me so richly. After high school I completed nursing school and went to work in the intensive care unit at Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center in Portland. I have remained current in critical care throughout the years as it is one of my passions. I truly thought I would be at the bedside caring for patients my entire career but I had a head nurse (yes, the historical manager name) that was so out of touch with the staff at the bedside and only spoke to us if we did something wrong. Well, one day she approached me and I knew I was in trouble! She told me that a ‘pastel pink’ sweater was NOT in hospital dress code. WHAT?! It looked so great with my summer tan! Needless to say, I wore my navy blue sweater (ugh) from then on. So from there I went to Charge Nurse, Manager, Director of Nurses, and Vice President of Nursing/Associate Administrator to over 2,000 staff from 40 to 60 countries. I have started five open heart surgery programs across the US…one in Honolulu which REALLY helped with the tan! (smile)
Education has been a priority for me as I received a Diploma in Nursing, Bachelors in Business, Masters in Business Administration, Masters in Nursing Science and a PhD in Hospital Administration. Currently I am slowly working on a Doctorate in Nursing Science but family and personal issues have slowed that down.
Most memorable for me was the development and opening of three international hospitals with the highlight being the King Fahd National Children’s Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (part of the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It was modeled after St. Jude Children’s in Memphis, TN and it has continued to grow and prosper for the treatment of children with cancer. Additionally, I had the opportunity to develop and put into practice a cultural diversity model that is centered on appreciation, values, and ‘synergy.’
I have been most honored by meeting President Nelson Mandela from South Africa (I wanted to preserve my hand that shook his!), the Dali Lama, Kings, Queens and Presidents of many countries. Working with Senators, Congressmen and Mayors have also provided me the opportunity to have a voice in healthcare and the nursing profession. Additionally, I have been very fortunate in the professional awards and accolades presented to me. I am still passionate about my profession and have never felt it was ‘work’ but rather an exciting privilege.
Since 1994 I have had my autonomous international consulting business specializing in healthcare quality, nurse satisfaction/empowerment, leadership synergy, cultural diversity, and strategic workforce management and sustained team appreciation. I have consulted, lectured, and lived in over 45 countries which I feel so richly blessed. Needless to say, this resulted in abundant number of friends and colleagues from around the globe which led to the writing of a leadership book that I was editor and author. The organization of Sigma Theta Tau International Nurses Honor Society, for which I had been inducted into several decades before, published the book 101 Global Leadership Lessons for Nurses: Shared Legacies from Leaders and Their Mentors.
Throughout my life I have taken a position to not just survive but thrive in everything I do. After ‘re-acquainting’ with many classmates that I knew by face or name at Wilson High School Class of 1968 I wish I had had more of an opportunity to get to know them better 50 years ago.
Hi Nancy, I’m finally taking a moment to scroll through some of the memory pages and came to yours. Geeeez! What a full life! I’ve travelled a little, but not the way you have. Just as I was ready to head of to Saudi Arabia, I got side-lined. Besides…really wanted to get my thesis wrapped up, too. But it ended up being a multi-year pause and it was almost 30 years before I finally got further than Mexico. Well, that’s life, and I can’t complain. Covid-19 makes it a little hard to connect, but maybe you’d be able to meet… Read more »
Dear Katy, I laughed when I received your note but thank you for the kind words. Better late than never! I see Janet Twitchell Frazer every Wednesday and Diane Lewis pops in now and plus Barb Twitchell (Wayne’s widow) joins us. Diane’s Dad just turned 99 or is it 100?! Janet and her husband have a farm in Moro, Oregon that my sweet puppy, Millie, and I go and run around with the goats and chickens! Great fun and a beautiful house they built. They spend half time there each week and then come to the SW home where Janet… Read more »
I just saw this message! And so sorry we didn’t get to talk at the reunion! I would have so enjoyed that. I had to leave early as my 93 year old mother needed my attention. Maybe at our next reunion? Or sooner if we cross paths!
I wish I had met you while you were a student at Wilson. Hopefully we can discuss more about your life in medicine at the reunion. I think is so very kind of you to leave a reply to everyone on the reunion attendance list.
Bruce Myers MD
Oh my, Nancy! Such an extraordinary and rewarding life you are living! What an impact you’ve had throughout your professional career! Your creative endeavors, world travels, and adventures are truly amazing! Your writing style and favorite quotes are eloquent and inspiring. I’ve always loved George Elliot’s quote “It’s never too late to be what you might have been.” You are definitely living your life to the full. “Thriving” indeed! Thank you for sharing.
Dear Lee (Cris),
Thank you so much for your note! You have also had a very exciting and blessed life and career. It is always wonderful to look back and remember the friendships of high school and then I so wish I could have reached out to more classmates. We are truly different back then…shy, timid, insecure?…in our life which is sad.
I hope so much that we can connect!
Nancy, I love your writing and life stories. It was nice to hear from you too and look forward to seeing you in September. I see we have a mutual friend in Elizabeth Anderson from your years at LO. I still call her Lizz as that is how I knew her at OSU. I actually went to the LO class of ’68’s 10th reunion with my cousin in that class, Joanne Perry. Three of my fraternity brothers were in that class as well…Steve Mawdsley, Thom Roberts and Jeff Gage. I am much more in touch with my college mates than… Read more »
Thank you for the kind comments and we do have a lot in common! Lizz was in my wedding 100 years ago and I am so looking forward to attending LOs reunion also!
This world is pretty small, eh?
Very nice, Nancy! An exciting adventure, that has touched, so many! Obviously, a job, more than well done!….Kurt
Thank you for the sweet comments…and I look forward to the continuation of your memory page!
Thank you for your kind words my former neighbor 😊.
Wow! Nancy, you did a fantastic job on this. Thanks so much for sharing.