Helen Nelson

Born: Sun., Jul. 29, 1917
Died: Sat., Oct. 23, 2010

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Helen Elizabeth Ransdell Nelson July 29, 1917 – Oct. 23, 2010 Pendleton, Oregon Helen was welcomed into life 93 years ago by her parents Samuel C. and Bessie Ransdell, and sisters Margaret Day and Mildred Merewether, in Portland, Oregon. Helen graduated from Washington High School. She attended Oregon State College where she met the love of her life, Alfred Fred H. Nelson, Jr. They were married on October 25, 1941, in Portland, OR. Helen moved from the city to the very rural life on the Nelson Bros. wheat farm located between Ione and Lexington, Oregon. She adapted and thrived in caring for her husband and her children: Kenneth Nelson Ione, OR, Karin Nilsson Salem, OR, and Keith Nelson Odessa, Texas. She also was a good surrogate mother to many young farm animals. Helen was a member of the Ione Community Church, Ione PTA, Lexington Grange, and Lexington Home Economic Club. She was active in many church, school and community activities. In 1978 she and Fred retired and leased the farm to Ken and Julie Nelson. They enjoyed their retirement years traveling in their RV and with tour groups. In 1984 they moved to Pendleton and adjusted quite well to city life. Fred died in 1990 after a long battle with cancer. Helen was a member of the First Presbyterian Church and made many friends there and through her volunteer work at St Anthony Hospital gift shop and Umatilla County Historical Society. Helen's family and her faith were the mainstays of her life. She was a devoted, kind and caring person. Helen lived in and received outstanding care from the Suttle Care and Retirement Home in Pendleton for several years. Her family wishes to extend special thanks to all the kind people who cared for her there. She previously lived at the McKay Creek Retirement Center and enjoyed their staff as well, along with several friends who also lived there. Helen's three children were thankful to be able to be with Helen during her final days. Her friends were there for her too. Helen was preceded in death by her husband Alfred, and her parents and sisters. She is survived by her three children, five grandchildren Jill Martin, Heidi Nelson, Josh Nelson, Nicholas and Tim Nelson and three great grandchildren Jakob and Luke Nelson and Eva Martin. Helen is also survived by her nieces and nephews Harry Day, Paul Day, Mike Merewether, Kathleen Merewether and Jeanne Griner. Helen had a strong loving relationship with them, and they frequently spent time at the family farm. A service will be held in Helen's memory at the First Presbyterian Church at 201 SW Dorion Ave., Pendleton, at 3:00 PM on December 3, 2010. Refreshments will follow the service. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, 201 S.W. Dorion Ave, Pendleton, OR 97801, or the Ione Community Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 346, Ione, OR 97843, or the St. Anthony Home Care and Hospice, 1601 SE Court Ave., Pendleton, OR 97801. Burns Mortuary of Pendleton is in charge of arrangements.

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Del and LaRue
   Posted Thu November 04, 2010
We will always remember Helen as a kind, gentle lady with an infectious laugh. May the wonderful memories you all have keep Helen in your hearts forever.

Cindy DayHayden
   Posted Sun November 21, 2010
I am so thankful for the memory of Aunt Helen! As children we loved visiting the farm and eventually I enjoyed visiting "the boys" Harry and Jim as they spent summers working on the farm. Helen's hospitality and joyfilled, hard working personality was inspiring to me! Watching Uncle Alfred and Aunt Helen partner together in life was a model to me! I will miss her but cherish the memories of a life well lived! Bless you as you grieve and remember!

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