East Lawn Palms Mortuary & Cemetery

5801 East Grant Road, Tucson, AZ


Thank you for visiting, sharing your memories, and celebrating Nancy's life with us here.

Nancy R. Volpe

January 4, 1946November 25, 2019

Nancy R. Volpe (born Crux) passed away at home on November 25, 2019 at the age of 73. Nancy is survived by her husband, Chester B. Volpe; son Christopher J. Volpe and daughter Cassandra Volpe Horii; and grandchildren Sophia L. Volpe and Maya J. Horii. She was preceded in death by her brother David K. Crux and parents Donald K. and Martha R. Crux.

Nancy was born on January 4, 1946 in Wilmerding, PA to Donald and Martha Crux. She graduated from Westinghouse Memorial High School in 1963 and married Chester Volpe, her high school sweetheart, in 1963. After leaving Pennsylvania, Nancy and Chester lived in Orange County, CA, during his Marine Corps service. The family moved to upstate New York, and later, to Boulder, Colorado, where Nancy spent more than 40 years enjoying the spectacular landscape, a thriving art scene, and life with her family. She was a dedicated wife and mother, devoting many years to raising her children with creativity, curiosity, and a love of learning. In midlife, Nancy became serious about her passion for the arts. She took art classes at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, VA and upon returning to Boulder, became a productive and celebrated artist, creating large and small works in pastel, oil, acrylic, multimedia, and a variety of print-making techniques. Nancy was a long-time member of the Art Work Space artists’ cooperative in Boulder. She exhibited in juried shows, including Boulder’s Open Studios, as well as at various shows and galleries in Colorado, and later, in Tucson, AZ, where she lived part-time for several years, and then relocated permanently in 2015. Nancy’s commissioned artwork hangs in the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder, CO and in numerous homes and businesses. Friends and family remember Nancy as an outgoing, gregarious, and dedicated woman; throughout her life, she tapped into a profound wellspring of imagination, cared deeply for those around her, and expressed her uniqueness in all that she did.

Family and friends will celebrate Nancy’s life privately. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org/involved/donate/memorial-giving.html.


Nancy R. Volpe

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ginia Desmond

December 5, 2019

I am so sorry I never spent the amount of time with Nancy I wanted, and I never saw her studio, although we talked about it. After Chet fell ill, I saw her rarely. I was totally shocked by her passing. Even though I never knew her as well as I wanted to, I felt very close to her and think it was mutual. I thought I had plenty of time.

Karen Poulson

December 4, 2019

I knew Nancy as a fellow artist. She was a wonderful artist and even more wonderful and sharing person. I treasure a small beaded "critter" she gave me. She'll be truly missed. Karen Poulson

james gregg

November 30, 2019

My most frequent and lasting memory of Nancy occurred several years ago when I think my sister introduced me to Nancy at the De Grazia Gallery in the Sun. Nancy was alone and my sister is known for introducing herself to strangers. They were standing together conversing and maybe hit it off because my sister resides in Denver (so they had something in common). Upon seeing my sister, who knows nothing about art, talking with a real artist, I approached them both and was introduced. I remember this event because after Nancy moved to Tucson I recall her warm interaction to both me and my sister when I first think I met Nancy.
After questioning Nancy about perhaps meeting my sister at the De Grazia gallery she seemed to recall that it took place, and so I always thought it would be a nice thing to bring them both together again.

Larry Brimner

November 30, 2019

I shall always remember Nancy for her generous, loving, creative, and uplifting spirit. We met each other through another artist. While I don’t remember the exact circumstances of that first introduction, I believe it was over a holiday dinner, and Nancy and I sat across from each other. It’s strange how sometimes you just know from the instant of meeting that a person is going to become a friend. I somehow mentioned that as a children’s book writer who visits a lot of schools and who is frequently asked by children (and their teachers) where I find my ideas, I wished I had something beyond my standard response of “Ideas are everywhere.” I wished I could hold up a crystal ball or something else to kind of tease the audiences into my program. A crystal ball being too heavy to carry in my luggage, I wondered aloud if anybody at the table had any suggestions. A short while later, Nancy had the perfect solution. We had arranged to meet for coffee at a convenient Starbucks, where she slid a small canvas bag across the table. “Your writer’s muse,” she said, with a twinkle in her eyes. Inside, was the most lovely art piece she’d made from computer hardware, a figure with ideas firing out of its head and who was holding a working pen in its coiled-wire arms. I offered to pay her for it, but she would have none of that. I was overwhelmed by her creativity, but mostly by her generosity. “The Writer’s Muse” hangs on the wall outside my office door where I see it every time I enter to work. It will be a constant reminder that good, kind, loving people have shared themselves in my life’s journey. Thank you, Nancy, for being part—an important part—of that journey. I will miss you.

marianne bernsen

November 29, 2019

My friendship with Nancy is only a few years old - I
instantly liked her and enjoyed sharing art and tucson and
coffee dates with her. She was easy to talk with and her sweet
and quick laugh was always part of the conversation.

I am surprised and saddened by her death. I will miss her and
be sorry not to have known her better.

Cassandra Horii Horii

November 29, 2019

Here are some of Nancy's paintings, an important part of her memory and an expression of her creative soul. ♥

Chris Hannagan

November 29, 2019

I'll miss you Nancy. I will cherish the memories I have of you--the racquetball, golf, art pep talks, and lunches. You were a special person and will be greatly missed by all.

Patty Herrington

November 29, 2019

I am so sorry to hear of Nancy's passing. I will miss my talented and wonderful friend. I loved spending time with her at our Rally Ladies group get-togethers since the 70's.

Cassandra Volpe Horii

November 29, 2019

Here are a few more of Mom's paintings. ♡

Randy Arand-McIlrath

November 28, 2019

Will miss you so much. We had our ups and down but you where a wonderful person. Miss you my friend Randy