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Margaret Nelson

Nelson Margaret

Margaret Lois Nelson, 91, died peacefully at home on October 26, 2021. Margaret was born April 10, 1939 to Ray and Louise Twichell in Bellingham, Washington. At 5 years of age, Margaret and her mother moved to North Central Washington to teach in one room school houses in rural Douglas County. Their living conditions were quite minimal. Her memories included hauling in buckets of coal and water and cleaning the blackboards every evening before she went to sleep on her straw mattress. In the winter, when they were snowed in, they waited for a neighboring farmer to come once a week with horse and sleigh to take them into town to buy groceries.  Her mother cooked their meals on a hot plate and hand sewed her clothes in a small living space connected to the classroom. Margaret’s mother was her teacher for her first seven years of school.  After graduating from Waterville High School, she attended Eastern Washington State College in Cheney, WA. She graduated with a degree in Elementary Education. She taught for a short period of time in Stanwood, WA, before marrying Harold Nelson of Douglas, WA on June 14, 1952 at the Waterville Federated Church. Margaret cherished her family and devoted her life to instilling the importance of a strong education and providing opportunities to enrich her children’s lives. Margaret and Harold raised 3 three children- Neil (Kitty) Nelson of McAllen, Texas, Joan (Bruce) Smith of Goodyear, Arizona, and John (Cindy) Nelson of Redmond, Washington. She was an extraordinary homemaker and farmer’s wife, well known for her cooking! Margaret was a very active member of the Waterville Federated Church and served on the Board of Directors for several years.

After Harold passed in 2002, Margaret moved to Oregon to be closer to her daughter Joan. She made wonderful friends with a group of women through PEO. Margaret enjoyed snow-birding in Arizona with Joan and Bruce each winter until they moved there permanently in 2017.

Margaret was preceded in death by her husband Harold in 2002 and her sister Carolyn in 2020. She has 5 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren-Thaddeus (Kristin) Garlatz, Oliver and Juliet; Michelle (Parker) Smollen, Mercer and Westin; Nicole Nelson; Nelson (Ann) Smith, and Ashla (Geoff) Green, Sawyer, Jack and Harper.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 9, 2022 at the Waterville Federated Church in Waterville, Washington. Details will be posted in the Waterville Empire Press closer to the date.

Memorials donations may be made to the Waterville Federated Church in Margaret’s name.

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