“When we moved to Rhode Island, Nancy wanted to insure that we were part of the scene,” recalls Dr. Michael Ehrlich, of his late wife who quickly became involved in the community. Nancy served on the boards of the Providence Children’s Museum, Vets Foundation, Family Services of Rhode Island, and the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School, the latter which she also served as secretary of the board for many years.
Referring to his wife of 52 years as a “bona fide New Yorker,” Dr. Ehrlich shares that she was interested in the arts from an early age. A graduate of New York City’s High School for Music and Art and Columbia University, Nancy’s first master’s degree was from Columbia in material culture.
As her husband’s medical training and career took them from New York to Ohio to Boston and finally Rhode Island, Nancy continued her studies and interior design work. She earned a second master’s degree at Brandeis University and studied interior architecture at Rhode Island School of Design.
The couple also had two, now-adult sons, Christopher and Timothy. The family has grown to include daughters-in-law Sara and Isabella and grandchildren Charlotte, Harrison, August, and Julian.
“She was really exceptional. She had an insatiable lust for artistic creations and was a fanatical gardener. She was very creative in our home and knew the origin of every antique,” Dr. Ehrlich explains.
At age 60, Nancy again returned to school, this time to earn a master’s degree in social work at Rhode Island College. With a focus on geriatrics, Nancy worked in psychiatrics at Rhode Island and Butler hospitals and was an advocate for Alzheimer’s patients.
Dr. Ehrlich recalls learning about the Foundation when, “The Foundation’s annual report came across my desk. I had never realized the extent of the Foundation’s philanthropy. I think Rhode Island is a great place. Nancy and I always were indebted to Rhode Island for accepting us.”
And it’s Rhode Island – specifically the types of organizations Nancy was involved with – that Dr. Ehrlich intends to support through this donor advised fund.