January 27, 1929 ~ February 18, 2021

Born in: New Haven, CT
Resided in: Wallingford, CT

On Thursday, February 18, 2021 around 3 a.m., the angel of silence sealed the lips of Mary Elizabeth Gordon Nelson. Her soul winged its flight from this world to the place of peace and everlasting love. We are grateful she died of natural causes, and that her wishes to be in her own home in her own bed were fulfilled.
Mary was born in New Haven, CT on January 27, 1929, the eldest of seven children of the late William H. Gordon, Sr. & Helen L. Gibbs Gordon. She was predeceased by her sister Susie Gordon, and her brothers Johnny and William Gordon, Jr., all formerly of Branford, CT, her brother-in-law Ross Frazier, formerly of Morristown, NJ, and her niece Lucretia Gordon, formerly of Bowie, MD.
Mary was married to the late Thomas R. Nelson, Sr., and from that union five children were born: John T. Nelson of Wallingford, CT, David R. Nelson of Boston, MA, Kathryn N. Hagen (Richard) of Wallingford, CT, Thomas R. Nelson, Jr. of Hamden, CT, and Susan M. Nelson of Berlin, CT. She was a faithful lifelong member of St. Stephens A.M.E. Zion Church in Branford. She brought her children to Sunday School while worshipping upstairs in God’s house. Mary was a member of the Missionary Society, where she served the position of treasurer, and was also a member of The Helen Gibbs Gordon Scholarship Fund Committee. She was always there for sunrise services at Easter and helped with the breakfast that followed service. She truly loved her church. She worked at SNET until the birth of her first child, and stayed at home to raise her family until her youngest child was in high school. She returned to work at the Town Hall as Executive Secretary for the Comptroller until she retired at the age of 89.
When not working, you could find her at the Wallingford Public Library checking out all kinds of books. She loved her crossword puzzles and making quilts. She was an excellent seamstress who modeled her own work. Mary loved to travel with her sisters on their yearly long-weekend trips to The Crab Festival in Baltimore, Maryland. She enjoyed going on vacations with her childhood friend Bertha, especially their cruises to Australia, New Zealand, and Alaska.
Mary leaves to celebrate her life her sisters; Betty Frazier of Morristown, NJ, the baby of the family Ernestine P. Miller of Branford, CT, her brother Russell Gordon and sister-in-law Frances Gordon of Branford, CT, and her cousin Molain Gilmore of New York, NY, her grandchildren; Jonathan W. Cosgrove (Alisha) of Meriden, CT, Thomas J. Nelson of Wallingford, CT, Christopher D. Cosgrove of Wallingford, CT, Serena Cosgrove-Hagen of Wallingford, CT and Isabella M. Nelson of Wallingford, CT. She was “Gramms” to Amy K. Cosgrove and “Mim” to Alexander L. Cosgrove of Wallingford, CT. She also leaves many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Friends are invited to visit with Mary’s family on Friday, March 26 from 6-8 p.m. in BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden, and are also invited to attend a Memorial Service celebrating her life on Saturday, March 27 at 11 a.m. in St. Stephens A.M.E. Zion Church, 31 Rogers Street, Branford, CT. Masks, social distancing, and attendance limitations will be followed.


Visitation: March 26, 2021 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Beecher & Bennett Funeral Service - Hamden
2300 Whitney Avenue
Hamden, CT 06518


Memorial Service: March 27, 2021 11:00 am

St. Stephens A.M.E. Zion Church
31 Rogers Street
Branford, CT 06405


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  1. So deeply sorry for your loss .She was such a beautiful lady .Sending prayers to al her family and friends.

  2. Kat, Sue and family My condolences to the entire Nelson Family I am sorry to hear of the loss of your mother . May she RIP and watch over you all .

  3. No matter how hard we try, we cannot escape the effects of aging and death. Not only that, our life my be cut short by sudden accident or illness. As described in the Bible, we are like a morning mist that appears for a little while and then disappears. James 4:14. My condolences to the family.

  4. My sincere condolences to the Nelson family. It was my pleasure to work with Mary at the Town Hall for many years. I enjoyed her beautiful quilts that she shared. And I admired her working into her 80’s. She will be missed.💔

  5. Rest in peace to one of the best Aunts a nephew could ever have in his life. You were a force of nature who will be forever missed. Love you, Timmy

  6. Rest in Peace beautiful Cousin Mary .. You epitomized the meaning of Family ~ Love, Rhonda & Ellen Turner

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