Joan Arlene Nelson

Born: Sat., Jul. 4, 1936
Died: Tue., Jan. 15, 2019


10:00 AM to 2:30 PM, Tue., Jan. 22, 2019
Location: Burns Mortuary of Pendleton

Celebration of Life

1:30 PM to 2:30 PM, Tue., Jan. 22, 2019
Location: Burns Mortuary

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Joan Arlene Nelson passed away at 82 years of age this past Tuesday, January 15th, at St. Anthony Hospital. Joan was born in Denver, Colorado on July 4, 1936 to her parents, Lawrence and Clista (Keagle) Durand. She completed her early years of education in Denver, graduating from Denver’s South High School in 1954. Thereafter she received her Associate of Arts degree in Secretarial Science in 1956 from Graceland College in Lamoni, Iowa. In 1962 she was awarded her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Joan was a lifelong member of the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (RLDS). She met Clarence Alan Nelson at the RLDS church in Fort Collins and they were married on October 7, 1962. One month after their wedding Alan was deployed to Germany with the U.S. Army. Joan joined her husband in Germany a few weeks later and they lived there until their return Stateside in 1964.

Joan’s work history is quite extensive. From 1956-1959 she worked as an administrative secretary for the Martin-Marietta Company in Denver, Colorado. Following her marriage and move to Germany she worked as an automobile registrar for the U.S. Armed Forces Europe Headquarters in Heidelberg. She also taught as an instructor with the U.S. Armed Forces Education Department in Straubing, Germany. Following her return to the States she worked for the Forney Manufacturing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado. Between the years 1965-1968 she worked as an intermediate clerk stenographer through Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. She later worked as a substitute teacher with the Parkland School for the Mentally Handicapped in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada (1975-76), the Boeing Company in Seattle, Washington (1976), the Department of Social and Health Services in Yakima, Washington (1977) and a variety of other office, administrative and teaching jobs. Prior to her retirement in 1988 she worked as a job placement specialist/instructor with Clerical Training Services in Walla Walla, Washington (1979-83), as an office manager for the Weston and Athena Clinic in Oregon (1984-88), and with the Physical Therapy Center in Walla Walla (1988).

Joan had a servant-minded spirit. RLDS churches in Fort Collins, Alberta and Walla Walla were blessed by her talent as a pianist. She found joy in sharing her talent at the piano by playing and accompanying the singing at RLDS church services in Fort Collins, Alberta and Walla Walla.

Joan is survived by her loving husband, Clarence Alan Nelson of Pendleton, Oregon, their son, Erik Nelson (also of Pendleton), their daughter Kristina Sailor of Lewiston, Idaho, and 3 grandchildren: Hayden and Mckenzie Sailor and Shae Nelson.

Visitation will be held at 10:00am Tuesday, January 22nd followed by a Memorial Service at 1:30pm in Burns Mortuary Chapel of Pendleton. Pastor Marc Mullins of Pendleton Christian Church will Officiate. Private Interment will be held at a later date.






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