J. Verne Wood Funeral Home - Buckminster Chapel
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Portsmouth, NH 03801
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Nelson D. Hersey

1925 - 2019
YORK, Maine - Nelson Douglas Hersey, age 94, formerly of Kittery, Maine, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, Aug. 28, 2019 at Gosnell Memorial Hospice House in Scarborough, Maine, after a period of declining health.

He was born May 14, 1925 in Portsmouth, N.H. and raised in the Christian Shore Community of Portsmouth.

Nelson was the son of the late Elizabeth (Brigham) and Chester Hersey. He was predeceased by two older brothers, Russell, who passed away in 2015, and Kenneth, who was killed in action in 1944 during WWII.

Nelson served in the U.S. Navy during WWII and was honorably discharged in 1943. After returning home, Nelson met Kathleen "Kay" Thompson at the Continental Shoe Shop in Portsmouth where they were both working and married in 1949. Kay passed away in 1997 after 48 years of marriage.

He worked for 39 years on the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard before retiring in 1986. After his retirement, he worked for Yoken's Restaurant and later, for his good friend, Timothy Field in the plant business.

Nelson became a dedicated Mason joining St. Andrew's Lodge #56 in 1956 and was raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason, the highest of the three degrees of Masonry on Feb. 27, 1956. In 1961, he became Worshipful Master. For the past 57 years, he served as Chaplin for St. Andrew's Lodge and 11 years for St. John's Lodge #1, of Portsmouth, N.H. where he was also recognized as an affiliated member and Honorary Past Master. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Four Square in 1961. He continued to be a devoted Mason and attended meetings up to the time of his passing.

In April 2019, Nelson was honored along with 35 other recipients at the Remember Me ceremony in Augusta, Maine for his military service and devotion to the community through the Masons.

In addition to Masonry, he was an avid wood worker, smelt fisherman enjoying many years of smelt fishing on Great Bay, and a huge fan of the Red Sox and Patriots.

Nelson is survived by his two daughters, Nanci Payne and her husband, Dale of Brunswick, Maine, and Susan Wizda and her husband Jerry of Dover, N.H.; four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren: Matthew Payne and his wife Carmela of Rutherford, N.J. and their children, Molly and Stella, Lisa Paine and her husband Joshua of Steep Falls, Maine and their children, Casey, Lucas, and Hunter, and Christopher and Timothy Wizda of Dover, N.H.

Despite being impaired by macular degeneration and numerous health issues towards the end of his life, Nelson never gave up and was an inspiration to everyone who met him. He always said, "If I can make someone laugh or smile, then I've done the right thing." His smile and positive attitude will be missed by all.

The family would like to thank the staff at Sentry Hill in York, Maine who made Nelson's last years enjoyable and comfortable; the care team from Beacon Hospice whose care was of great comfort to Nelson and his family; Dr. Heather Moher and Dr. Fredrick Thaler of Kittery Family Practice who both showed great compassion in their care for Nelson; the entire care team at Gosnell Hospice whose kindness and support made Nelson's passing peaceful; good friend Dexter Spiller for his friendship and devotion in seeing Nelson made it to and from Masonic meetings; and Tim and Debbie Field for their loving friendship.

SERVICES: A Masonic service will be held at 1 p.m. with a funeral service to immediately follow on Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019 at the J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel, 84 Broad St., Portsmouth. Family flowers only. Memorial contributions may be made to: St. John's Masonic Association Operation and Maintenance Fund, 351 Middle Street, Portsmouth, NH 03801 and/or Gosnell Memorial Hospice House, 11 Hunnewell Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074.

For online condolences, visit: www.jvwoodfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are under the direction and care of the J. Verne Wood Funeral Home – Buckminster Chapel.
Published in Seacoastonline.com from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2, 2019
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