Nancy Moreland Obituary

Nancy  Moreland
Nancy Moreland

March 30, 1926 - January 22, 2021
Born in Waterbury, CT
Resided in Mystic, Connecticut


Mystic - Nancy Olcott Moreland, 94, of Mystic, passed away Friday, January 22, 2021 at Avalon Health Center in Mystic after contracting COVID-19. She was born in Waterbury, Connecticut, the daughter of James Henry Olcott and Pauline Heinze Olcott. Nancy was a graduate of Saint Margaret School in Waterbury, CT and Colby Junior College (now Colby-Sawyer) in New London, New Hampshire.
Nancy and her future husband Walt met after his mother and father did a little matchmaking, involving Nancy’s landlady as an unknowing participant, setting up the unsuspecting couple in an improvised phone call… which did not go well! Fortunately, they were later introduced more properly by mutual acquaintances and together Walt and Nancy built a future that was remarkable and inspirational to all those around them.
Nancy was invaluable to Walt as he finished his PHD at MIT in Cambridge, typing his thesis. They moved to Groton, Connecticut in 1952 as Walt started his career as a chemist at Pfizer. As their family grew, Nancy set up house in New London and then East Lyme where they spent the next 26 years. With her impressive organizational skills, she created a secure and happy family life for her husband and their four children that included memorable holiday traditions, annual family trips to New Hampshire, special birthdays, many picnics and occasionally a kind-hearted prank or two. At the same time Nancy supported and enhanced Walt’s career as he rose to become head of Medicinal Products Research. She was a gracious hostess who was genuinely interested in others. The annual Christmas party that she gave for Walt’s research department at their home was an event not to be missed.
Nancy and Walt built a retirement home in Waterford and lived there together for four years before his death in 1990. Always a strong and independent woman, Nancy developed and pursued new interests: she traveled the world, volunteered extensively in local organizations, joined book clubs, and maintained and enhanced her Waterford home and gardens. She found great joy in volunteering at Harkness Memorial State Park and took special pleasure in leading visitors on tours of the mansion and in researching and refurnishing Mary Harkness’ bedroom. She cherished her six grandchildren, shared in the joy of their arrivals and was actively interested in their activities. She thoughtfully recognized their special occasions and accomplishments, as well as their bumps and bruises with just the right touch. Her many letters, cards and notes, care packages and gifts were her way of drawing the family together and keeping them together over the years.
In 2007, Nancy moved once again, this time into an independent living apartment at Stoneridge in Mystic. As usual, she created a tasteful and beautiful home, and immersed herself in life there. Unexpectedly, she found love a second time with resident Jim Hands. Before his death in 2017, they spent several happy years together discussing world events, getting to know each other’s families and sometimes spontaneously breaking out in song, gracing those in their presence with their sweet harmony.
Growing up as a single child raised by a widowed mother, family was always of utmost importance to Nancy and she cherished time spent with them. She was generous and thoughtful, artistic and tasteful, dignified and fun loving, optimistic and gracious, always there for anyone who needed her, making her children and grandchildren feel loved and supported. The arrival of her great-grandchildren filled her with joy and she looked forward to their visits.
As Nancy’s memory began to fade, she made her final move to the memory care unit at Stoneridge. Gracious to the last, she adapted to her new environment at The Cottage with her trademark dignity. In her later years Nancy said, “I am satisfied. I don’t need anything more.” She was truly grateful for the life she had. Her family will dearly miss her.
Nancy is survived by her four children, Judith Spitz (Robert) of Waterford, David Moreland of Ann Arbor, MI, Richard Moreland of East Haven, and Elizabeth Fiorillo (Vincent) of Thornton, CO; her six grandchildren, Andrew Spitz, Benjamin Spitz, Todd Spitz, Jeffrey Moreland, Nina Fiorillo, and Michael Fiorillo; and four great-grandchildren, Maya, Emma, Lily and Carter.
The family would like to thank the staff at Stoneridge, The Cottage, and Avalon for their loving support and care.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations in Nancy’s memory may be made to the Friends of Harkness Memorial State Park, PO Box 10, Waterford, CT. Condolences may be shared on Mrs. Moreland’s memorial page at




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