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01/28/15 - NNHS Newsletter -
Mary Sue Nelson

Mary Sue Nelson
(26 May 1934 - 24 Jan 2015)

Newport News High School Class of 1952

Dear Friends and Schoolmates,   
   I was grieved this morning to read this latest news. 
   Mary Sue Nelson, Class of 1952, sister of    Jack Nelson ('54) of Northern VA, Lloyd Nelson ('61) of VA, and   Doug Nelson ('64) of VA, passed away in Springfield on Saturday, January 24, 2015 at the age of 80.

   I remember so well her tireless and infinitely patient efforts in the Senior Department of Trinity Methodist Church when I was in high school. She will be missed by all who ever knew her.

From the Daily Press - 01/28/15:

                   Mary Sue Nelson


SPRINGFIELD - Mary Sue Nelson, 80, on January 24, 2015 departed for home, retiring from her lifetime of travels, to the final destination of her journey. Because we all loved her so, we knew that the end of her suffering was a blessing; but our loss is almost insurmountable.

Mary Sue was a native of Newport News, born May 26, 1934, to the late John Hugh Nelson and Charlotte Mildred Nelson.

She is survived by her brothers, John H. Nelson Jr., (Jeanne) Vienna, VA; Lloyd W. Nelson (Brenda) Newport News, VA; Douglas E. Nelson Dahlgren, VA. Nieces Catherine Cochran; Elizabeth Gerber; Donna Nelson Laney, Nephew Michael L. Nelson, Great niece Ashley Flora, Great nephew Jordan Laney. Also her dear uncle, aunt and a host of cousins, extended family and friends are left to share her precious memory. 


Mary Sue Nelson

Mary Sue graduated from Newport News High School 1952 and from Madison College, now known as James Madison University (JMU) 1956 with a BS in Business. While attending Madison she became a member of TriSigma Sorority and the Madison Glee Club.

In the summer of 1956 she was one the select members of the Glee Club to go on a USO Tour to the Azores. She enthusiastically helped with all the 1956 class reunions. When the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts at JMU was built she memorialized her love of music by donating a Music Library Room.

Mary Sue was an active member of the Northern Virginia Alumnae Chapter of TriSigma and Springfield-Annandale Chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW). She was for many years the membership chairman for the Sigma Alumnae Chapter.

After graduating she spent her career working with the Department of the Army (Fort Monroe), and the Department of Defense (Fort Belvoir).

She was a lifelong member of Trinity Methodist Church. Mary Sue shared her enthusiasm for life, energy, youthful spontaneity, her love of music, literature, arts and culture with everyone she spent time with.

She was a prolific writer and wrote poetry as well as very lengthy and interesting letters. She also wrote the monthly newsletters for both the Sigma Alumnae Chapter and AAUW; she received the prestigious State Award for the best newsletter.

She traveled around the United States as well as Europe, Asia and Africa. Mary Sue always made time to join family on their holidays, outings, special occasions and vacations. She would bring the "fun" with her, unpacking her car trunk, which seemed endlessly endowed with the makings of excitement and adventure. She would then spend time entertaining the young family members, by reading books to them, playing games or amusing them with her songs complete with ukulele accompaniment.

She was to all that loved her adored, admired, cherished, respected and revered. She was like no other person, unique, with a consistent positive attitude of gratitude and joy. Even in her last days she assured us "There are better days coming for all of us." She had a smile and kind words right up to the very end, comforting us, instead of the other way around. It has been an honor to know and love our very "Merry" Mary Sue.

Visitation will be at Peninsula Funeral Home in Newport News, on Friday, January 30, at 1:00 p.m. and the funeral service at 2:00 p.m., a graveside service will follow.

A memorial will also be held at the Greenspring Village Chapel in Springfield, VA at 2:00 p.m. on February 5, 2015. View and post condolences on our online guestbook at

Published in Daily Press on January 28, 2015.

View Guest Book


January 28, 2015

Lord, thank you for putting the friendship of Mary Sue in my life. She will always be my Forever Friend.
With Sympathy and Much Love,
Janet Wolfe Goldschmidt

~ Janet Goldschmidt, Cincinnati, Ohio

January 28, 2015

   My dearest Mary Sue, words cannot express my sorrow, that you are no longer here, being all that you are to me, to my family, and to everyone else's lives that you touched. I wonder sometimes; if people ever really know how much they impact someone's life; if they ever know how much they are loved? I can only hope that you knew how much you meant to me. You were a very formidable presence in my life, a strong woman that I looked up to and admired. You exposed me to culture, music, literature and art. You imparted wisdom, and gave sound advice, that I wish I had heeded more often. You loved me, even when my life choices were hard for you to understand. You were adored by my children, who so enjoyed your company, whether you were singing songs, or reading to them from the many books you bought for them, or entertaining them on family trips. Your ever youthful personality was so cheerful and vibrant. You were my pen pal for 40 some years; sending me postcards from places far away, cards, letters and packages, always much anticipated messages of love and support, arriving in my mailbox regularly, everywhere I resided over the years. I still have every one of your cards and letters, and I cherish them ever so much more today. You endowed my Christmas tree's boughs yearly, for some 40+ years, with ornaments, often homemade from church sales, and some were beautiful souvenirs of your many trips around the world. People often exclaim that they can no longer even see the tree for all of the decorations! You were always present, and involved in our lives. You were my inspiration when it became time for me to be an aunt. Although I could never measure up to you, I was a better aunt for having you as an example. You will be missed much more than you know. I feel selfish for wishing you were still here, because I know how much you suffered in the last few years. I am grateful knowing now you are in heaven, walking on brand new legs, feeling no pain, singing in the angels choir, your sweet voice heard above than all the rest. As you once told me, "... Make a joyful noise unto the Lord...". You indeed were a huge part of my life, however, I have come to realize that I was a very small part of yours; not that I ever conceived of that thought while you were here; because you always had time for me; in spite of all the people you knew, all the family that you held dear to your heart, all the friends that were in your life, and everyone that you had met in your vast travels. I know you are already missed by so many others than myself. I hope that your memory will be a comfort to my dad, Lloyd Nelson, your brothers, Jack and Douglas, our family, and your friends. I often said that you were the glue that held us together as a family. It was important to you that we came together in fellowship for family reunions and were happiest when we were all there. You attended all special occasions, holidays, and vacations, no matter how far you had to travel to get there. I know that I am not the only one that has a heavy heart. I hope that somehow you know how much you are loved.

I feel truly blessed to have known you for my 51 years. There was never a time that you were not with me, in person or in spirit. My life was greatly enriched by you being part of it. I am honored and proud to call you my beloved Aunt "Merry Sue." Rest in peace until we meet again. I love you.

~ Donna Lynne Nelson Laney, Yorktown, VirginiaContact Me


January 28, 2015

Brenda and Lloyd, we are sorry for your loss, and our prayers are with you and your family.

~ Eva and Joe Mack, Cary, North Carolina

January 28, 2015

My sympathy is with all of Mary Sue's family and friends. I am sure that we all have great memories of Mary Sue.

~ Nancy Jane Bains, Hampton, Virginia

January 28, 2015

Mary Sue never had a hair out of place! You always looked so fantastic which made us all look bad. I loved working with you in AAUW. Gosh we miss you.

~ Nancy Joyner, Aannandale, Virginia

January 28, 2015

Both of us were Mary Sue's co-workers when she worked for HQDA The Adjutant General's Office (TAG). Don and Mary Sue traveled extensively and she was always in the mood for sightseeing at the end of the day/assignment. While at Ft Carson, CO she got Don to drive her over the snow covered Rockies in the winter to see Vail and Aspen. He drew the line when it came to to driving up Pike's Peak, but Mary Sue got another woman to go with her, and said the park ranger had to follow them back down because of the weather! Don told the story about the southern women's reaction to his "green suit" during their trip to Anniston, Alabama when they were searching for a restaurant in a fancy rental car. Mary Sue told Don that, "if you ever wear that damn green suit again I'm not traveling with you." He presented her with the green pinstriped suit at her retirement luncheon in Springfield. She told him later she tried it on - and it fit perfectly! Terri worked in Springfield until 2007, and visited her at her townhouse near her offices in Metro Park. We both have fond memories of her and know she is already sightseeing on the other side.

~ Don and Terri Kennedy, Asheville, North Carolina
Contact Me

January 28, 2015

Sorry for your loss; the bible has a hope for all. ISA 26;19 they will be brought back to life, that is the hope of the resurrection.

~ Arnese Blake, Camden, New Jersey

January 28, 2015

IMary Sue was one of the most loving and giving people of whom I've had to pleasure to know. Her enthusiasm for life was contagious. Rest in peace, Mary Sue. Sigma Love and All of Mine, Kathleen

~ Kathleen Herron, Reston, Virginia

January 29, 2015

Mary Sue. Never an unkind word. When I look back she taught me so much about friendship and service. I have missed her in my years since moving from Northern Virginia. She was a wonderful friend, every faithful, and an example of sisterly love. Mary Sue, you will be missed but I know I will see you again. Until then. In our bonds, Debbie Frank

~ Debbie Frank, Woodford, Virginia

January 29, 2015

The family will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers during these sad days.

~ Elizabeth Compton, Danville, Virginia

January 29, 2015

Sorry for your loss May the memories that mean the most to you live forever in your heart.

~ Charles Sally Dail

January 29, 2015

We never had the pleasure of meeting her, but if she is anything like you Lloyd she was a wonderful person. May God comfort you and your family through this difficult time.

~ Carla Wilson, Carson City, Nevada
Contact Me

January 30, 2015

Dear Mary Sue, my college room mate for three years and never an unkind word. We have remained in touch all these years , I am going to miss her, but know she is gracing the Kingdom of God and is singing in His choir. Love and God's Blessings, Catherine Padgett and family, Eldon, (husband), Kelly and Karen, (daughters).

~ Catherine Howard Padgett, Fleetwood, North Carolina

January 31, 2015

Condolences to the family. Mary Sue was truly a lovely, talented lady. We were blessed to know her and were so happy when she was able to attend our NNHS class of '52 reunions and OFC lunches.

~ Barbara Hardison, Newport News, Virginia

January 31, 2015

My deepest sympathy. May God's Holy Spirit be with the family. I pray that He brings comfort to you all at this hard time.

~ EH

February 04, 2015

So sorry to hear about your loss. You know that God and Jesus are in the best position to comfort us when we lose a loved one in death.

~ T Griffin

February 06, 2015



February 06, 2015



   Our sincerest condolences are extended to Mary Sue's family and friends at this difficult time.

  Y'all take good care of each other!  TYPHOONS FOREVER!  We'll Always Have Buckroe!

                          Love to all, Carol





Carol Buckley Harty
7020 Lure Court
Fayetteville, NC 28311-9309


Servant of God, Well Done!

Words by Charles Wesley (28 Dec 1707 - 29 Mar 1788)
Music by
George J. Elvey (27 Mar 1816 - 09 Dec 1893)

(The Methodist Hymnal, 1966, #288)

Wesley wrote this hymn in 1770 on the occasion of the death of clergyman George White.
Elvey's tune, "Diademata", has been set to several other hymns, notably "Crown Him with Many Thorns" and "Soldiers of Christ, Arise".

 Servant of God, well done!
Thy glorious warfare’s past;
The battle’s fought, the race is won,
And thou art crowned at last.

With saints enthroned on high,
Thou dost thy Lord proclaim,
And still to God salvation cry,
Salvation to the Lamb!

O happy, happy soul!
In ecstasies of praise,
Long as eternal ages roll,
Thou seest Thy Savior’s face.

Redeemed from earth and pain,
Ah! when shall we ascend,
And all in Jesus’ presence reign
With our translated friend?


"Servant of God, Well Done!" midi courtesy of - 01/13/06

"Servant of God, Well Done!" lyrics courtesy of - 01/13/06

Greg Olsen Paintings courtesy of – 03/15/05

Navy Seal clip art courtesy of - 05/29/06

Army Seal clip art courtesy of Al Farber ('64) of GA - 05/24/06 (still missing...)
Thanks, Al!
Replaced by Norm Covert ('61) of MD - 02/09/09
Thanks, Norm!

Musical Divider Line clip art courtesy of - 05/06/09

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