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Whitfield Funeral Home
Little Davenport
Hamilton Mill

Mary Knight Nelson

Obituary Date: Thursday, February 18, 2016

        Mrs. Mary Knight Nelson, age 76, of Gainesville, Georgia, passed away  Thursday, February 18, 2016 at her residence surrounded by her loving family.

            A celebration of life for Mrs. Mary K. Nelson will be held at 2:00 pm Sunday, February 21, 2016 in the chapel of First Baptist Church in Gainesville, Georgia. Services will be led by Dr. Bill Coates. Interment will be in Memorial Park Cemetery prior to the service. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 pm Saturday, February 20, 2016 at Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel.
            Mary was born July 26, 1939 in Grant City, Missouri, the second daughter of Arthur and Nell Knight, both high school teachers. Always very intelligent, Mary was the Valedictorian of her high school class, made the highest chemistry grade of 600+ freshmen at the University of Missouri, and kept an “A” average throughout college. She used her skills working in the chemistry labs of several hospitals throughout her career, the last one being Northeast Georgia Medical Center until her retirement in 2000. Mary was always very busy with her hands; she gardened, wove, and knitted, and she shared the work of her hands with others. What a beautiful life she lived.
            Mary was known and loved for her service in the “English as a Second Language (ESL)” program at church, where she taught English and citizenship for the past fifteen years as well as a special Sunday School class for ESL students. During two separate summers she spent six weeks in China teaching English to Chinese high school English teachers. She was a faithful member of First Baptist Church of Gainesville for the past 33 years
            Mary was the loving wife of Chaplain Wayne Nelson for 56 years, retired from Northeast Georgia Medical Center, and an amazing mother to four children: Elizabeth (Terry) Gregory of Lexington, SC; Philip (Jennie) Nelson and Paul (Sara) Nelson of Gainesville, GA;’ and Jonathan (Barbie) Nelson of Buford, GA . Also surviving are eight grandchildren: Joshua and Rebekah Gregory of Lexington, SC; Megan (Nathan) Kahue of Waukegan, IL; Margaret, Matthew, Abigail, and Samuel Nelson of Gainesville, GA  and Emily Nelson of Buford, GA in addition, Mary has a surviving sister and brother-in-law, Mabel and Allen Keathly of Terre Haute, Indiana, as well as a myriad of nieces and nephews and great-nieces and nephews; 2 sisters-in-law and one brother-in-law.
            In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the ESL program or to the choir expansion at First Baptist Church, 751 Green Street Gainesville, GA 30501or to the Hospice of Northeast Georgia Medical Center 743 Spring Street Gainesville, GA 30501.     
Memorial Park North Riverside Chapel 989 Riverside Drive Gainesville, GA 30501. 770-297-6200 or for those who desire online condolences at
Funeral Date
02/21/2016 at 2:00PM
Funeral Home
Memorial Park North Funeral Home Riverside Chapel
989 Riverside Drive , Gainesville, GA 30501