NELSON—Ann L. Nelson

NELSON—Ann L. Nelson, 99, passed away peacefully in Seattle, Wash. She was interred with her husband, Gunner Nelson, at Tahoma National Cemetery.

She is survived by her four sons: Fred, Steve, Leif and Greg; their spouses, and her two grandchildren, Esther and Ruby.

She was the last of her generation.

Ann’s family used these words to describe her:

Loving, feisty, selfless, caring, hardworking, giving, honest and committed to her family and friends.

Born in Chicago, Ann and her two older siblings were raised by their mother through the Great Depression. 

She met Gunner right before WWII. They loved to dance and laugh. He went into the Army and was posted at Fort Lewis for his final training.

Before Gunner shipped off to Europe, Ann rode the train to Tacoma and married him.

After the war, they settled in Wisconsin, started a small business and raising four sons. It was a rambunctious house but Ann ran it fairly and with a smile — usually.

The family loved the Green Bay Packers. During the games, and around the house, it often seemed like Ann was the referee.

She and Gunner retired to Florence on the Oregon coast. Gunner liked to paint; Ann liked volunteering at the hospital, mostly in the Oncology department. She did that for 25 years.

There was a lot of caregiving at home too, helping Gunner through hip surgeries and two cancers. After Gunner passed, Ann moved to Seattle to be near family, particularly her two granddaughters.

She regaled them, as she had her sons, with the stories of her life: about spending summers with her own grandmother who gave food to the hungry people that came to the door; how as a child she got so fed up with her prankster older brother Frank that she shoved him backwards into a vat of root beer her mother was brewing in the kitchen; about the resourcefulness and kindness people needed to weather the Depression and then the war; about the absolute joy when the war was finally over, and she and Gunner could dance again.

In Seattle, Ann lived at Ida Culver House Broadview and Pearly Jones Home. She loved socializing with the other residents.

Though her memory grew thinner in her 90s, her personality did not change. The last year or so, her favorite thing to say was, “I love you!”

In lieu of flowers, Ann wished that a donation be made to the Peace Harbor Foundation.


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