Nancy A. Sullivan - Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel

October 19, 1955 - June 4, 2013

Nancy A. Sullivan, age 57, of Shoreview, slain June 4. Preceded by parents James and Donnajean Sullivan. Survived by children Daniel and Kathleen Fay; siblings James Sullivan (Leslie), Michael Sullivan (Beth), Maureen Sullivan, and Tom Sullivan (Melissa); granddaughters Dalia and Sewmauria, 4 nieces and 3 nephews.

Born October 19, 1955, in Fargo, Nancy obtained an English degree in 1977 from Moorhead State University. At the urging of her grandmother MiMi, she attended the University of North Dakota School of Law. She married Jack Fay in 1979, and earned her J.D. with honors in 1980. The couple had two children before divorcing.

Nancy loved the combination of a rocking chair, an adult beverage, and a deep talk. She also loved grand entrances, whooping laughs, irreverent humor and energized parties. In her circle, the more easily alarmed types learned to let go and say “that’s just Nance.” A loving and committed mother, she showered her children, children’s friends, and later grandchildren with attention, excitement, and fun. Recognized by her work peers for pro bono achievements, she mentored many young adults and freely volunteered her time and expertise to nonprofits, friends and family.

Law proved an excellent conduit for Nancy’s laser focus and intelligence. Known for spontaneity, she could also methodically process dense piles of paperwork while bobbing in her chair and dipping into a steady supply of small candies. She practiced corporate and bankruptcy law in Fargo-Moorhead area firms for many years, eventually moving to the Twin Cities. Having first made partner at Gray Plant Mooty in Minneapolis, she then worked with Faegre & Benson and Dorsey & Whitney. After a year-long sabbatical to teach at a charter school in Arizona, she joined Minneapolis law firm Barnes & Thornburg. As a partner there, she specialized in employee benefits and served on the boards of the Children's Law Center of Minnesota and Project DIVA.

Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank to the “Nancy’s Treasures Memorial Fund” for the benefit of her children and grandchildren (questions to Sarah J. Rowley, Barnes & Thornburg, LLP).


  1. Darin & Jeremy WPRD says:

    Jim & Leslie and Family,
    We send our sympathy and condolences from all of us at Williston Parks & Recreation District.

    Darin Krueger – Executive Director
    Jeremy Ludlum – Facilities/Program Director

  2. Nancy Ott says:

    This message is for Nancy’s brother, Jimbo:
    Dear Jimbo,
    I am so sorry to hear of your sister’s death. My prayers and thoughts are with you and your family. Lori Wunderlich and Julie Dandurand send their condolences as well. I’m sorry I will miss the memorial service, I won’t be in the cities on July 12.
    Nancy Ott and family

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