Mary Elizabeth Nelson

December 22, 1918 ~ July 23, 2020 (age 101)


Mary Elizabeth Nelson age 101, of Clifton, passed away on July 23, 2020 at the Sunset Home in Clifton.

Funeral services will be held on 10 A.M., Saturday, August 1, 2020 at the St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Cranfills Gap. Rev. Ryan Pederson will officiate. Burial will follow at the St. Olaf Lutheran Rock Church Cemetery near Cranfills Gap. Pallbearers will be Larry Pattings, III, James Russell, Jody Nelson, Jacob Kersey, Travis Kersey, and Cody Kersey.

She grew up in a time when women did not have the work that you see today. There also was no help for widows. Her dad was buried in the coal mines when she was 10. Her mom had 3 young girls to take care of alone. They all worked together they took in borders as they had a home. Her mom took in laundry and the girls did odd jobs around the neighborhood.

Mom once asked a neighbor if she would be her grandmother, as mom had no grandmother. The neighbor, Mrs. Hardin said yes and she did become a grandmother to mom. She taught her to tat with and ivory shuttle. Mom still tats. Tatting is becoming a lost art, but mom tatted well into her 80's and still has the Ivory shuttle.

She met and married Carrol Nelson from Texas. They were both working for General Electric at the time. Soon after they packed everything they had in their car and set off to Texas to make their home. She left behind all her family. Carrol's mother, Ida wanted mom to feel comfortable and knew she would have wedding gifts to store until they could get a home of their own. She hired a carpenter to build a large box for mom to store her things in (loving known as the quilt box). This thoughtfulness began a wonderful loving relationship between the two. Mom and Ida became the greatest of friends as well as mother-in-law and daughter-in-law. Mom learned to drive and the two of them went everywhere together. Ida also traveled with our family on trips to California to visit Ida's family and also to Pennsylvania and New Jersey to visit mom's family.

Elizabeth loved the Lord and taught Sunday School (3 year olds) for years. She retired from this, but several years later in her 60's was asked to teach again if they promised to have a younger lady to help as mom could not chase after little ones anymore. Mom again taught the babies. When I hear the bible verse "Bring the little children to me" I think of mom. When I read the book of Ruth I also think of mom. She came to a strange place and shared a wonderful life with her husband's mother. Mom also was a member of the Ladies Aide as it was called at that time and even served as president.

She survived numerous health issues. She learned to speak again, cook, read and do math in a rehabilitation center. She was living on the farm alone when each of these illnesses struck. She gave each of her children courage to reach out to others, face difficult times, and spread their wings and fly. She will be missed.

Left to cherish her memories are her children, Bennie Nelson and wife, Carol, of Meridian, Donna Kersey and husband, Larry, of Cranfills Gap; 11 grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren and one on the way; numerous other relatives and many friends.

Preceded in death by her parents; daughters, Sonja Russell and Mary Carol Pattings and husband, Larry; and siblings.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to:

St. Olaf Lutheran Church
402 Meridian St.
Cranfills Gap, Texas 76636


Arrangements were made by Lawson Funeral Home, Meridian, Texas 254-435-2792.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Elizabeth Nelson, please visit our floral store.


Funeral Service
August 1, 2020

10:00 AM
St. Olaf Lutheran Church
402 Meridian St.
Cranfills Gap, TX 76637

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