Rev. Gordon S. Nelson, 93
Rev. Gordon S. Nelson, recently of West Barnstable, passed away with family at his side on February 28, 2016. He is missed by his children and their families: Jill Nelson and her daughter Reyna Whitley of Germantown, MD; Gary Nelson, Jeri Schultz and Eugene and Pam Saungweme of Minnesota and Zimbabwe; Mark Nelson, Kristie Kapp and their children Jacob and Greta of West Barnstable, MA; and Craig and Jody Nelson and their children Zachary and Henry of Marstons Mills, MA. He is also missed by his sister-in-law Dorothy Jensen of Old Saybrook, CT, and numerous loving nieces, nephews and their families. Gordon joins his beloved wife Carolyn Nelson and his amazing grandson Joshua Whitley.
Gordon was the youngest of six children born in St. Paul, MN. He graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy where he served aboard the U.S.S. Fitch at Utah Beach on D-Day, in the Mediterranean and as the first U.S. ship to enter Tokyo Harbor for the Japanese surrender. After the war Gordon entered the Augustana Seminary in Rock Island, Illinois with his brother George, and was ordained in 1951. He served as Pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lowell, MA, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Newington, CT, Grace Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA, Zion Lutheran Church in Waterbury, CT and First Lutheran Church in West Barnstable, MA where he retired in 1988. He and Carolyn then volunteered with the Peace Corps in Grenada. They also spent many years volunteering at N Street Village, a homeless women’s shelter and care center associated with the Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington, D.C. In addition, he served as an interim minister at Luther Place and at Zion Lutheran Church in Plymouth, MA.
Gordon enjoyed spending time with his extended family and friends, including annual reunions with his wife’s extended family. Back in seminary he developed his cartoon sidekick Smedley, initially to poke fun at church life, and later to delight his family. He enjoyed telling his grandkids stories, including how he drove a destroyer in the war before he ever drove a car. His caring nature and sense of humor will be missed.
Calling hours will be held from 4:00 to 6:30 PM on Thursday March 3rd, followed by a memorial service at 1:30 PM on Friday March 4th. Both will take place at First Lutheran Church on Route 6A in West Barnstable, MA. A reception will follow the service at the church. Burial will be private.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be sent to First ELCA World Hunger Appeal, P.O. Box71764, Chicago, IL 60694-1764; or N Street Village, 1333 N Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20005.