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Rev. Dr. Nancy Nelson, 70, passed away on Monday, May 31, at Friends Fellowship Community.
She was born Nancy Jo Williams in Winchester, Indiana, on June 3, 1950, the daughter of Robert D. “Bob” & Phyllis C. McIntire Williams. Nancy was a 1968 graduate of Northeastern High School. She continued her education, earning her B.A. Degree in Religion and Psychology from Earlham College and a Master of Divinity (with Honors) Degree from Earlham School of Religion. She also earned a Doctorate of Divinity from the Princeton Theological Seminary.
Nancy was a Pastor, Counselor and Educator. She first served at First Friends Meeting in Richmond, then Nettle Creek Friends Meeting in Hagerstown and Salem Friends Meeting in Liberty. She also served as a Peer Pastoral Counselor at First Baptist Church and was President of the Richmond Ministerial Association for a year’s term.
While attending Earlham, Nancy was a Career Planning and Placement Counselor and a Teaching Assistant. She later served as Director of Service Learning at Earlham College and as Director of Admissions and Student Development at the Earlham School of Religion and Bethany Theological Seminary.
Nancy believed in service leadership and served our community in several capacities. She was active on the Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of Treaty Line Council, led Girl Scout troop activities and mentored many middle school children. She was a counselor at Birthright, a convener of The Justice for All Coalition in Wayne County, and a moderator for the Church Mobilization Task Force.
Nancy’s contributions were recognized by many. She received the Outstanding Young Woman of America Award, the Girl Scout Merit Award, The Human Services Award of Richmond and the State Community Service Award by the Governor of Indiana. She also spoke before a U.S. Senate Subcommittee about Earlham’s student volunteer program and was invited to the White House to speak about service learning.
Nancy enjoyed being a Mother, walking and hiking, gardening and traveling. She was a Master Gardener and formerly owned & operated a floral decorating business. She was a member of 4-H, the Petal & Stem Club and the Rodalla Home Ec. Club. She attended First Friends Meeting and First English Lutheran Church in the later years of her life.
Nancy will be missed by her children, Kiersten Aubre, Sarah Radermacher (Ryan), Robert C. Wood (Giulianna), and Ryan J. Wood; grandchildren, Tuscan Aubre-Howard, Rowan Aubre-Howard, Chloe Radermacher, Kahler Radermacher, Luca Wood and Joseph Wood; brother, Robert D. “Bob” Jr. Williams (Cathy); sisters, Judi Smelser (Rev. Richard), Rev. Mary Ann Randolph (Gary); sister-in-law, Linda Parks; and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Nancy was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Harry Nelson.
Nancy’s life will be celebrated in Richmond on June 4, 2022. There will be a small graveside service at Willow Grove Cemetery this Saturday, June 5, at 11:00am, followed by fellowship at the adjacent park. Please contact Nancy’s family or Smith-McQuiston & Webster to learn more.
Memorial contributions are encouraged for the Levi and Catherine Coffin House Association, PO Box 77, Fountain City, IN 47341.
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