In Remembrance

Check your settings when you are happy with your print preview press the print icon below.

Show Obituaries Show Guestbook Show Photos QR Code Print

Nancy Ellen McGrew

May 28, 1937 - April 9, 2021

Service Date May 22, 2021

Visitation is at 9:30 a.m., followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m., on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021, at Salem Covenant Church in Duluth. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Salem Covenant Church are preferred. A private committal will take place at the Pike Lake Minnesota Veterans Cemetery at a later date.

Obituary Viewed 611 times

Nancy Ellen McGrew, 83, of Duluth, Minnesota, went home to be with her Lord and Savior peacefully, with family members by her side, on Friday, April 9th, 2021, at the Edgewood Living Community in Hermantown, Minnesota. She was born on May 28th, 1937, in a house on Sparkman Avenue in the Morley Heights neighborhood of Duluth, Minnesota. She was the third of four children born to Carl and Ellen (Alvar) Solberg.

Nancy grew up in the Woodland neighborhood of Duluth, attended Cobb Elementary School and East Junior High School, and graduated from Central High School in 1955. She continued her education at the University of Minnesota – Duluth, graduating in 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. That same year in June, Nancy married Edwin McGrew at Duluth’s First Presbyterian Church.

In 1959, she began teaching in the Duluth School District (ISD 709) in a second-grade classroom at Franklin Elementary, but she moved to many different schools around the District as her career progressed. In the middle of her career, she took time off from teaching so she and Edwin could start a family. When her children were young, she worked as a substitute teacher, eventually returning to full-time teaching when her children were older. Having a passion for mentoring and teaching children, her focus was in elementary education. This attribute was even more evident when she learned American Sign Language as an ISD 709 employee so she could work specifically with hearing impaired students in the District. She retired from teaching in 1998 so she could enjoy life, especially being a grandmother.

A long-time member of Salem Covenant Church in West Duluth, Nancy positively impacted the Spirit Valley neighborhood, teaching Sunday School, working with the youth group, and serving many years as Salem’s Christian Education coordinator. Whenever she was paired with another teacher at Salem, that person felt a sense of relief knowing that the night of teaching God’s Word would go much more smoothly. It was clear that her gift was working with children, whether educating elementary students, teaching Sunday school, or working with Cradle Roll, a ministry for the families of baptized infants and toddlers.

So many people felt Nancy’s generous spirit of hospitality and service over the years. She routinely offered her home to friends, or even people she didn’t know, who were visiting Duluth. It was no surprise to anyone if they found a loaf of bread hanging from a door handle or a meal secretly placed in the refrigerator during a time of need.

Nancy was preceded in death by her loving husband of 60 years, Edwin; parents, Carl and Ellen; as well as an older brother, Verle. Nancy is survived, and will be missed by, her two sons Kevin (Paula) McGrew and Mark (Heather) McGrew of Duluth; grandsons Graham, Soren, Noah, and Adam McGrew; brother Dwight (Betty) Solberg of Grand Rapids, Minnesota; and her loving younger sister of Duluth, Naomi (Lowell) Weberg, who spent many hours at Nancy’s bedside during the last months of her life.

The family thanks the employees of Edgewood and Primrose Retirement Communities and Caring Edge Hospice for their care during a critical time in Nancy’s life, as well as the vast network of St. Luke’s Hospital staff for a lifetime of treatment.

Visitation is at 9:30 a.m., followed by a memorial service at 11 a.m., on Saturday, May 22nd, 2021, at Salem Covenant Church in Duluth. In lieu of flowers, memorials to Salem Covenant Church are preferred. A private committal will take place at the Pike Lake Minnesota Veterans Cemetery at a later date.