Cover photo for Mary Ellen (Nance)  Richards's Obituary
Mary Ellen (Nance)  Richards Profile Photo
1933 Mary 2023

Mary Ellen (Nance) Richards

November 6, 1933 — December 1, 2023

Ellensburg, Washington

Mary Ellen (Nance) Richards, 90, passed away on December 1, 2023 peacefully in her hometown of Ellensburg, Washington. A graveside service will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, May 10, 2024 at High Valley Cemetery.

Mary was born on November 6, 1933 in Shobonier, Illinois to Mabel (Albert) and Tommy Nance. In 1948 Mary, with her parents and brother, Jim, ventured to Kittitas County and homesteaded their farm on Orchard Road.  Mary graduated from Ellensburg High School in 1951 and worked her first job at Tiffany Insurance.

Shortly after graduation, Mary met Johnny Nason, Jr. and they were married in 1953. Together they had 5 children - Nick, Toby, Nancy, Guy, and Kari – and made their home in Sunnyside, Washington. That marriage later ended in divorce.

Mary met and married Vernon Richards in 1975 and Vernon, Mary, and daughter Kari moved to Colville/Kettle Falls Washington in 1976 where they owned and operated Colville Realty for a little over 12 years.  During this time the couple were members of the Benevolent Protective order of the Elks.  The couple proceeded to retire to Mossyrock, Washington shortly before Vernon’s passing in 1993.  Mary began her work in genealogy during this period and considered it as one of her most intriguing hobbies along with sewing, cooking, canning, and crafting.

In 1994 Mary met Glenn Griggs who would be her companion for the next 19 years living in Shelton, Washington.  Together they traveled throughout the Western States, Alaska, Mexico, and the Panama Canal. After Glenn’s death Mary moved back to Mossyrock for a short period before returning to Ellensburg in 2015.

Mary is survived by her brother, Jim Nance; five children Nick Nason, Toby Nason, Nancy Nason, Guy Nason and Kari Wallace; stepson Dan Richards; grandchildren Nicholas, Dominique, Lynsey, Tyler, Joshua, Nance, Crystal, Shay, and Derek; great-grandchildren; great-great children, and nieces and nephews.

Memorial contributions in Mary’s honor are suggested to the Kittitas County Genealogical Society.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Johnston & Williams of Ellensburg. Online condolences may be left for the family at

To send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Ellen (Nance) Richards, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Graveside Service

Friday, May 10, 2024

Starts at 2:00 pm (Pacific time)

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