Sara A. Nelson, known as Sally to family and friends, died June 6, 2019 at Adventist Health of Sonora at the age of 83 after a lengthy illness. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, and lived in Oak Park, Illinois, until she was 17, except for three years spent in New York during WWII.

The family moved to Glendale, California, in 1951 and then to San Mateo in 1953. She received her teaching credential from The College of Notre Dame in Belmont, after first attending San Jose State for two years. Sally married Padric Nelson in 1959 and moved to the Marysville and Yuba City area.

Sally taught third grade for three years at Saint Gregory’s School in San Mateo before getting married, and for nearly 15 years in Live Oak. She moved to Sonora in 1981 and became a teacher’s aide at both Curtis Creek and Sullivan Creek School. Her memories of all of the years working with the students and staff brought her great joy and satisfaction. She made a positive difference in so many young lives.

Sally was an accomplished seamstress from a very young age. She made her own patterns for most of the beautiful sweaters she knit. She was very talented at cross stitch and leaves behind one unfinished project. In her last few years, she crocheted hundreds of hats, scarves, and baby outfits for the needy, especially for Interfaith Social Services. She leaves behind an astounding bounty of her excellent work. Sally even dabbled at oil painting to express her feelings from time to time, and created numerous framed works of unique art.

She loved books and was an avid reader from the time she learned to read. Sally always had a book by her side and enjoyed discussing what she was reading. She had a wonderful sense of humor that carried her through life. Many stray cats seemed to find their way to her back porch, and she always loved them and met their needs.

Above all, Sally had deep compassion for all of humanity and made it her mission in life to do what she could to make the world a better place.

Sally was preceded in death by her parents, Willam and Margaret Morrissey and her husband, Padric Nelson. She is survived by her son, Thomas Nelson, and Heather Frey, grandsons, Orion and Connor Nelson; sister, Mary Morrissey; brother, Stephen Morrissey; and sister-in-law Georgiann; niece, Theresa Romell and her husband, Clifford, grand nieces, Marie and Dorothy, and Rose Romell.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 19 at Terzich and Wilson Funeral Home, 225 East Rose at Lyons Street, Sonora. Private interment will be in St. Patrick’s Catholic Cemetery in Sonora. Donations in Sally’s name can be made to Interfaith Social Services

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