Mary Evelyn Nelson
1929 - 2020
Share
Share Mary's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
Mary Evelyn Nelson October 19, 1929 - April 30, 2020 San Diego Mary Evelyn Nelson passed away on April 30th, 2020 in San Diego of congestive heart failure after battling the effects of a stroke in November. Mary was born in Nebraska to Carl and Alice Nelson. She spent the first 8 years of her life on the 240-acre family farm near Craig, Nebraska, with her parents and older siblings Marge, Jean and Ken.The family moved from the farm to Fremont, Nebraska, where Mary attended high school, graduating at age 16. She then attended the University of Nebraska in Omaha, graduating in 1950 with a degree in Dietetics. After a one-year internship in Chicago and jobs in California and Hawaii, Mary moved to San Diego to stay in 1953. She worked for San Diego Junior College and then co-owned and operated Ledbetter Candy Company in downtown San Diego. In 1959, Mary joined the staff of San Diego State College (which later became SDSU) as Associate Food Service Director. Here Mary thrived and was an indispensable member and leader of the staff for the next 31 years until her retirement in 1990. In 2002, Mary received the prestigious Mortar Board award for outstanding staff.Mary was a world traveler, visiting all 7 continents and 26 countries, an avid golfer, playing courses around the world, an usher at the Old Globe theater (for 33 years!), an RSVP volunteer and an active member of the SDSU Retirement Association. Her robust, full life gave rise to many fascinating stories with which Mary regaled family, friends and acquaintances, much to everyone's delight. Mary was a much-loved family member and a dear friend to many. Intelligent, creative, knowledgeable, skillful, productive, caring, loving, compassionate and loyal are some of the words that describe Mary. Passionate about her views, she was unafraid to share them with others. She served others and was very generous, not only with her time and resources but also her friendship. She was one of a kind. She was Aunt Mary.Mary leaves behind her nephew Norm Nelson, nieces Alice Oltmer Zimmerman, Lani Potts, Hollie Briggs, and Laurie Lamberth, many great-nephews/nieces and great-great-nephews/nieces along with many close friends. Due to the coronavirus, a memorial service will be postponed until a future date. Donations in Mary's honor may be made to the Salvation Army Kroc Center, the San Diego Food Bank or the SDSU Retirement Association Scholarship fund.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on May 19, 2020.
MEMORIES & CONDOLENCES
Not sure what to say?
6 entries
May 26, 2020
Mary was my boss and friend when I worked at Aztec Shops at SDSU until she retired. She was an amazing woman and she will be missed.
Jeanette Macon
Friend
May 23, 2020
Mary came out to meet us when we looked at buying the house next door to her. She gave my son his first piggy-bank. Her intelligence, lively sense of humor, and the way she knew how everything runs in San Diego made for many great chats! Her caring and kindness to our family will be remembered fondly.
Julie Weber
Friend
May 23, 2020
Mary will be truly missed by our family. She came out to meet us when we came to look at buying the house next door to her. She gave our son his first piggy-bank. Mary's intelligence, lively sense of humor, and knowledge of just about everything made for many interesting chats! She always treated our family with kindness and she will be remembered fondly by us all.
Julie Weber
Neighbor
May 23, 2020
Mary was active in the SilverSneakers, exercise program at the SalvationArmy, Kroc She was enthusiastic, well liked and was always helping others in class. She even helped find people to entertain the seniors at the monthly parties and generously contributed to support us any way she could. She was a delight to be around and we all missed her when she suffered from the stroke. Mary Nelson was an amazing person and friend.
Robyn Reising
SilverSneakers Instructor
Robyn Reising
Teacher
May 22, 2020
Thank you Mary for sharing your self with me. I will cherish our memories together. I miss you & I think of you often especially when I visit Lidos Italian restaurant the last place you introduced me too. Rest In Peace. Damiana , D to you. (caregiver)
Damiana Lawrence
Friend
May 22, 2020
Your warm smile will be missed. I enjoyed ushering with her at the Old Globe on Anita & Terry Gee's Team. Rest in Peace dear woman.
Judy
Friend
INVITE OTHERS TO ADD MEMORIES
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences