Mary A. Nelson

mary nelson

November 30, 1914 ~ September 23, 2001

Resided in: Palos Verdes,, CA

Nelson, Mary A. ''Nana'', 86 In a time of national tragedy, it is far too easy to neglect the beauty and dignity of a life well lead. Mary Nelson was known as ''Nana'' to four generations of extended family, who will surely miss her. But few will be able to remember, first hand, all the daily acts of courage and unselfish love required to care for an expanding family through the cultural explosion of the 20th century. But these were the qualities of Mary's grace and service. Momentous challenges marked the span of her life, which began on November 30, 1914, in Cass Lake, Minnesota. A far simpler time, in a far simpler world. Mary spent her final three years in Palos Verdes, CA, with her daughter, Cathie Jetton, and son-in-law, James. She had previously lived in Portland, Oregon, for 22 years, where she was a member of the Kenilworth Presbyterian Church, and lent her efforts to the Dorcus Society. The official ''aims'' of the Dorcus Society, founded in 1940, were unassuming and simple: ''to sew for, pray, and otherwise assist missionaries.'' ''Nana'' could always be counted on to do as much as possible, not just in times of crisis, but every day. She died on Sunday, September 23, 2001, in Torrance California. While in Palos Verdes, Mary Nelson attended Living Word Church in Torrance. She worked as an executive secretary for the Veterans Administration and the U.S. Forest Service for over 25 years. She is survived by two daughters and one stepson: Cathie Jetton, and husband, James, Palos Verdes California; Susan Oja, and husband, Wayne, Portland Oregon; William Aye, Middleton Wisconsin; Eight adored grandchildren: Tony Jetton, and wife, Carla, Mesa Arizona; Suzanne Barstad, and husband, Jeff, Oregon City, Oregon; Stacy Shaddy, and fiance, Chris Huitinga, Portland, Oregon; Phil Rock, and wife Kristin Gale, of Deephaven, Minnesota; Jeffrey Jetton, Lake Oswego, Oregon; Jamie Jetton, Palos Verdes, California; Jenny Murray, and husband, Kenny, Lomita, California; Jay Jetton, Portand, Oregon; Christie Jetton, West Linn, Oregon. Six precious great-grandchildren: Cheyne and Jaron Jetton, Jake and Connor Jetton, and Quinn and Grace Rock. Numerous friends and relatives: Niece Mardean Mutz, and grand niece Kathleen of San Leandro, California; Nephew John Blackburn, wife, Claire, and grand nephew Dwight, W.Australia. And one loyal and much cherished kitty, ''Spanky'', a frequent hospital visitor, and source of unbelievable comfort. Private services were held. A memorial is planned Dec.1st. at the Kenilworth Presbyterian Church in Portland, during what would have been the week of her 87th birthday. In lieu of flowers, ''Nana'' would have preferred donations be made to the World Trade Center relief fund.

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Memories Timeline


  1. We love you Nana. Thanks for loving our son Jaron, too. We will cherish the photos of you with him forever. And when the time comes, he will hear all about you and his dad\’s “adventures” and special times spent together. You will not be forgotten. We love you, you are a special part of this family. -carla

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