The California Chess Reporter

(Volume VI, #8: April 1957)


Mrs. Nancy Roos died in Los Angeles on April 6, 1957, of cancer after a long illness. Nancy was women's co-champion of the U.S., a title she won last Fall in New York. A formidable exponent of the Polish Opening, she was especially strong at rapid-transit chess. She was also an expert at the Japanese game of Go. The following tribute was written by her good friend Mrs. Lena Grumette:

"The loss of Nancy Roos is a tragic one to all of us who knew, loved and admired her for the many remarkable qualities that were hers; and in the world of chess in which she was a leading figure, the death leaves a void that will not soon be filled."

"The fortitude and courage she revealed in her nine-year fight against the disease to which she finally succumbed was of a magnitude as overwhelming as it was incredible; her tenacious will to live, undaunted by the inexorable inroads of the disease was a constant source of wonder not only to her friends, but to members of the medical profession who lent their fine skills to prolong her life."

"Even in her final confinement to bed, her extraordinary zest for life - painwracked as it was - remained undimmed. Defying the paralysis that crept through her tortured body, she mustered all her strength and prepared herself for her last chess party, a party given by her club. Happy and excited at the prospect of seeing so many of her friends again, this spirited and fearless woman came to the party attended by a nurse - and in a wheel chair. In her face was peace and contentment. A week later she died."

"Nancy, with her warm, vivid and refreshing personality, endeared herself to an unusual number of people, among them many notables in the chess world. But included in the vast circle of people who fell under her spell were also her fellow students in her college classes, her teachers, and almost the entire staff of nurses and doctors at the City of Hope, an institution in which she spent many of her remaining days, and one which to her had been 'heaven on earth.' Resigned to her devastating illness, she was nevertheless bountiful in her appreciation and praise for the wonderful protectiveness and care the City of Hope gave her. And thus, in gratitude, and with a compassionate insight into the needs of medical science, Nancy bequeathed her body to be used in advancing scientific research."

"We who now mourn Nancy Roos may take some measure of comfort in the knowledge that our friendship with this unusual and gifted woman was a rich and stimulating experience which death itself can never wither."

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