Mary Caroline Nelson, 87, longtime resident of The Dalles, Oregon died on April 30, 2014, at home surrounded by her family.
Mary was born February 21, 1927 in Cincinnati, Ohio. She was the second of five children born to George and Ruth Williams. The family moved frequently and she jokes that she was raised from Ohio to Oregon but really “grew up” in The Dalles. The family did farm work from California to Idaho and Oregon. It was on one of those final trips north where she met and married her husband, Edward Lohr Nelson. Mary and Ed were married for 46 years before Ed passed away in November of 1995. They had five children.
Mary took a job as a cook at Dry Hollow Elementary School where she worked for over 22 years. She loved this job and loved being with all the children at the school. When Mary retired, she kept herself busy with volunteer work. She volunteered at a local preschool, The Dalles Middle School, then at Mid-Columbia Medical Center. She continued her volunteer work at MCMC for many years and finally had to give that up in 2013. Mary made many friends at MCMC and was so appreciated and welcomed by the staff; it truly was an important part of her life after Ed passed away and her grandchildren no longer required her babysitting services! Mary was a people-person who loved kids and adults alike, accepted and respected everyone without judgment. She was blessed to call many, her friends.
Mary was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Ed, her daughter, Kathleen, and her infant son, Timmy, as well as her sisters, Elizabeth and Dorothy, her brother Ben and her parents. Mary is survived by her brother Tom Williams (Marty), many nieces and nephews, her sons, Nick (Jeannie) Nelson and Edward Nelson, and her daughter MaryRuth Stranz (Jeff), her seven grandchildren, Dylan May (Kristen), Adin Nelson (Brenda), Lindsey Owings (Tyler), Cora Sawyer (Jared), Jennifer Vaught (Joel), Isaac Stranz (Tiffany), and Nathan Stranz, as well as her ten great-grandchildren, Charlie and Edie May, Colton, Ruthie, and Ethan Sawyer, Lillen, Eliza and Silas Vaught, Hazen Owings and Rowyn Nelson.
Mary describes her happiest times as those being with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The services for Mary will be held Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 1:00 pm at Spencer Libby and Powel Funeral Home.
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