Longtime Alaska resident Margaret Nelson died Friday, Dec. 21, 2001, at home with her family in Seward. She was 83.
Funeral services will be held Thursday, Dec. 27 at 1 p.m. at the Seward Nazarene Church, with a visitation from 10 a.m. until noon. Burial will follow at the Pioneers Cemetery in Seward. Pastor David Walker will officiate. A reception will follow the burial at the Seward Senior Center.
Mrs. Nelson was born in New Bedford, Mass., Nov. 23, 1918. She graduated from South Dartmouth High School in New Bedford and completed her nursing degree in Boston. She was a registered psychiatric nurse and worked at Boston City Hospital.
Before coming to Alaska, Mrs. Nelson moved to Panama, where she worked as a nurse for United Fruit Company. In 1949, she accepted the director of nursing position at the Seward Tuberculosis Sanitarium, arriving on Alaska Steamship Co.'s Baranoff. She met her husband, Gilbert Nelson, and they raised four children in Seward, where she lived for 52 years. She was hired at Wesleyan Nursing Home in 1967 and retired as head nurse in 1986. After retirement, she and her husband traveled extensively, especially enjoying their visits to New Zealand.
"She was active in the community and did not wish to spend her golden years idle. She loved going to lunch with her friends, but always made sure she was home in time to watch 'Judge Judy.' She was known for her quick wit and dry sense of humor and was never shy about expressing her views. She was a loving mother and grandmother; her family always came first in her life," her family said.
She attended the Nazarene Church for 50 years and was the church organist for 25 years.
She was preceded in death by her mother, Nellie Coates; father, James Clifford; and husband, Gilbert O. Nelson.
Mrs. Nelson is survived by her brother, Howard Clifford of Westport, Mass.; sons Gilbert, David and Donald Nelson of Seward; daughter-in-law, Maranda Nelson of Seward; daughter and son-in-law, Virginia and Michael Cuffe of Ninilchik; grandchildren Bridgette and Brendan Cuffe of Ninilchik and Melissa Nelson and Danielle Shumacher of Anchorage; and great-grandson Jamius Shumacher of Anchorage.
The family plans to create a memorial scholarship to be awarded to a graduating senior who plans to enter the field of nursing. A bank account will be established for this purpose after the Christmas holidays.
Arrangements were made by the Peninsula Funeral Home.
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