Helen D. Nelson, 88, of Ludington, Michigan died June 5, 2018. She was preceded in death by brother Frank, and is survived by her husband of almost 68 years, Bruce A., daughter Kristi and son Bruce C. Daughter of immigrant Swedish parents C. Emery and Gunhild (Tollstam) Chapman, Helen was born in Chicago, Illinois on July 30, 1929. She attended Sullivan High School and Wright Junior College on Chicago’s northwest side prior to marrying Bruce A. Nelson on June 10, 1950. Helen was a homemaker first and took on a number of jobs as time permitted. Her infectious personality spawned countless friendships through the years, and she had a strong interest in volunteering whenever possible.
Helen held positions with Illinois Bell Telephone Company, School District 25 and at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Arlington Heights, IL. She served many years in grade school cafeterias making sure children were fed, and carried this experience to St. John’s where she ran a weekly lunch program for senior citizens. Following Bruce’s retirement in 1986, the couple relocated to Ludington where they became active members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
Her strong interest in music resulted in a large collection of recordings. Helen and Bruce spent considerable time attending concerts and supporting community bands and orchestras. The two also volunteered countless hours in support of their favorite organizations. Helen spearheaded a number of initiatives to support local not for profit organizations, including an annual book sale by the Friends of the Ludington Public Library. Annual proceeds from the event often topped $10,000, which was gifted to the library administration to support programs and to improve the facility. The couple were active charter members of the Great Lakes Lighthouse Keepers Association and traveled extensively to visit aids to navigation around North America. Together with Bruce, Helen could frequently be found volunteering at White Pine Village or assisting with tours of the Big Sable Point lighthouse.
Following several physical setbacks, Helen became a resident of the Oakview Medical Care Facility, where her outgoing personality brought smiles and laughter to residents and staff alike. She will be remembered by many as one who unselfishly brought joy to everyone she encountered. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Diabetes Action Research and Education Foundation (diabetesaction.org).
Arrangements have been entrusted to oak Grove Funeral Home and Cremation Center of Ludington.