Dorothy Jordan Nelson

  • Born: December 26, 1925
  • Died: September 9, 2013
  • Location: Palm Springs, California

Rose Mortuary & Crematory

66424 Pierson Blvd.
Desert Hot Springs, CA 92240
Tel. (760) 251-7673

Tribute & Message From The Family

Dorothy Nelson passed away in her sleep after a long illness on September 9th at home in Palm Springs. She was born December 26, 1925 to Harry and Waneta Jordan in a coal mining settlement outside of Albia, Iowa. Yes...she was a coal miner's daughter.

The family moved to Galesburg, Illinois were she graduated from Galesburg High School in 1943 and was a member of the National Honor Society. She married Melvin Nelson on April 21, 1946. They were completely devoted to each other for over 67 years.

She is survived by her husband and three sons, Michael (Susan Chieco), Stephen (Vicki) and Gary "Kelly" (Susie); three grandchildren, Joshua (Michelle), Matthew and Michelle Megan; two great grandchildren, Paige and Bentley; and a sister, Loretta (Earl) Boyd of Galesburg, Illinois. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother, Delbert Jordan.

In Galesburg, she worked at Mayo General Hospital and was a supervisor in the marketing department of Gale Products for 21 years. In Desert Hot Springs, she worked at Guaranty Bank for over 9 years as a new accounts representative.

She was a former member of the Covenant Church in Galesburg and a member of the Palm Springs United Methodist Church, the Palm Springs Historical Society and the American Legion Auxiliary. She volunteered at the church library and the Historical Society.

There will be a memorial service at the Palm Springs United Methodist Church on September 19th at 11:00 AM. A private burial will be held at the National Cemetery in Riverside, California.

Memorials to either: Covenant Church, Dayton & Jefferson Streets, Galesburg, Illinois 61404 or the United Methodist Church, 1555 East Alejo Road, Palm Springs, California 92262.


Condolence & Memory Journal

I got to know both Dot and Mel during my time working at the United Methodist Church of Palm Springs. Dot was one-half of the notorious "Library Ladies." They were dedicated, faithful servants. Every Monday, over the course of the 6 years I worked there, Dot and Nancy Jane - and obviously their handy-man Mel, worked in the church library. Dot always had a good story for me; I heard quite a few of their life in Galesburg, and Mel's service to our country, as well as stories about their boys. It was a thrill to see the book! It's true; they are from the greatest generation. Their devotion to each other is truly once-in-a-lifetime. You have my sympathy, Mel and family.

Posted by Larea Pettersen - Cathedral City, CA - friend from church   September 21, 2013

Dorothy had a zest for life. She was a dynamo, a force unto herself. There was a joy to her, especially when it involved her family and friends. Her smile was broad and effortless. Although short in stature she could command your attention with her enthusiasm, wit and sincerity.

When my own parents passed away many years ago I decided that even though I didn't see them all that often I would make Mel and Dorothy my new parents. I told no one. It was just something I kept in my mind and felt in my heart. After all they already had three sons of their own and that was more than enough testosterone for any family. They were kind to me and seemed interested in what I was doing and treated me like I belonged as a member of their family. It comforted me knowing that I knew and cared for someone from that parent's generation...The Greatest one. Someone who had lived through the Great Depression and World War II and survived to build a family and by extension this country. Those were hard times but she survived and lived a wonderful life.

And so for sung by another Dorothy.

Someday I'll wish upon a star
An wake up where the clouds are far behind me.
Where troubles melt like lemon drops
Away above the chimney tops
That's where you'll find me...

Somewhere over the rainbow.

Posted by Stephen Sixta - Diamond Bar, CA   September 19, 2013

A glad-hearted smile. A beauty, she was. Pride radiating. Her three sons dressed alike, smiling and rumpled on a Christmas morning. And she loved these three. Melvin's hand holding hers in bright sunlight. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her smile. Rest well, Dorothy. They will see you smiling in sunlight forever.


Posted by Jane Singer - Venice, CA - Friend   September 16, 2013

What fond memories I have of your family growing up in Galesburg. Spending the summers at Grandma Bert's and a lot of times at your house. Your mom and dad treating me like one of their own. Snitching cigarettes at Charlesons and smoking them under Pearl St. bridge over Cedar Fork. If I could climb down there I would possibly find a pack of Belair or Lucky Strikes on top of the support beam. The watermelon fight at Denny Stonekings and the branding of "Scringe". I love your mon and dad very much as I love all of you also. God bless and thanks for great memoiries.d

Posted by David Nelson - Galesburg, IL - nephew   September 15, 2013

Mel, Mike, Steve, Kelly and family. It is diificult to lose someone that has been part of our lives for so long. Memories from Church, Willard St. antics, the many years of friendship that our families have shared will not be forgotten. We enjoyed our visits with Mel and Dot and RoseAnn and Ted in Palm Springs many times over the last 10 years. Dot loved to have a good time and had a contagious sense of humor! I know the last year or so has been very diificult for her and Mel so now she is at peace. We will be thinking of all of you and praying for you in the days and weeks ahead. George and Diane and family.

Posted by George and Diane Peterson - Galesburg, IL   September 13, 2013


All memories come flooding back. It was great talking to Aunt Dorothy these last few months since my Mother passed.

Posted by Pam Nelson Padilla - Galesburg, IL - Niece   September 13, 2013