Doris Marie Nelson Profile Photo
1926 Doris 2023

Doris Marie Nelson

June 25, 1926 — December 3, 2023


Doris Marie (Baily) Nelson passed away peacefully at home on December 3, 2023 at the age
of 97.

She was the embodiment of generous love, kindness and warmth. To all who knew her,
and to her grandchildren and great grandchildren especially, she was a safe harbor of
unconditional love and care. She read endless piles of books to the children who clamored for
her lap. She comforted little ones with gentle hands, and listened closely to anyone who came
to her with their triumphs and their hurts. She was humble and generous and young at heart,
always up for adventure and new experiences. She was a skilled seamstress and made
beautiful hand-work embroideries and quilts. She had an eye for style and decor; she could
make any space into a lovely home. She was always sharply dressed in colorful classic style.
Through the hardships and joys of her long life, Doris continued to grow in wisdom and inner
peace. Her tremendous resilience and grace set a quietly profound example for others.

Doris was born on June 25, 1926 to Myrtle (Johnson) and George Baily in Oxford, Nebraska.
She was one of 8 children: Harold, Ernie, Geri, Margie, Beverly, Bob and Judy) all of whom
worked hard alongside their parents on the family farm. Together they survived the great
hardship of the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. The farm is still in the Baily family to this

Doris completed high school in Oxford in 1943 and began teaching at the one-room
schoolhouse where some of the farm boys were taller and older than she was.
World War II brought tragedy to the family with the loss of Doris’ eldest brother, Harold, whose
plane was shot down on the Pacific front in 1943. Doris worked alongside many on the
homefront supporting the war effort; she spoke of cracking eggs all day long in the wartime
factory making powdered eggs for the troops. When the war ended, her future husband came
home to Kearney, Nebraska where his parents lived next door to Doris’s grandmother.
Doris and Fay D. Nelson were introduced in 1946 and began their courtship. They married on
August 31, 1947. They went to live in Hastings, Nebraska where Fay worked at the Naval
Ammunition Depot as the plumbing shop supervisor. Doris worked at the department store.
Doris and Fay welcomed two children during those years in Hastings - Marcia and Jeffery. In
1954, Doris contracted polio and was bedridden for a time. Fay helped her with her exercises
and took care of the children while she recovered. In 1958, the Nelson family relocated to
Colorado Springs, Colorado where the new Air Force Academy was nearing completion. Fay
was hired to oversee plumbing operations there, and eventually became the Hospital Engineer,
responsible for management of all the buildings at the Academy. Doris was also employed there
at the Academy for a time, and she worked as a seamstress at Kaufman Department Store.

Doris and Fay made Colorado Springs their home for the rest of their life together, while
remaining closely connected to their families in Nebraska. They were members of the First
United Methodist Church. They joyfully welcomed eight grandchildren: Lara and Beno
Kuharich (Marcia), and Adam, Lindsay, Seth, Bobby and Luciana Nelson (Jeffery). Doris
loved to accompany Fay on impromptu road trips in the cars he loved to restore. They enjoyed
travel around the US and to Mexico. Doris and Fay became friends with Bob and Lucille
Damico of Colorado Springs when their daughter Lucienne married their son Jeff in 1974. When
Fay suffered a stroke in 1988, Bob and Lucille were among the close friends who helped
support Doris through the years after his disability. Fay died on October 2, 1990. Doris
continued to live in Colorado Springs until 2000 when she went to live with son Jeffery and
daughter-in-law Lucienne in Maryland. Doris was a beloved GG to 14 great-grandchildren:
Coral, Cade, Colby and Colin (Beno and Amy Kuharich of Silverdale, Washington); Neila
and Rianna (Lara and Bob of Divide, Colorado) Brinton, Dorothy, and Daphne (Seth &
Hailey Nelson of Fresno, California); Liliana, Amelia, Gabriela and Luca (Luciana and Alec
Rubiera of Poolesville, Maryland); Evangeline (Bobby and Amber Nelson of New Orleans,

Doris enjoyed many adventures with her grandchildren, including cross-country road trips with
numerous small children (and dogs), trips to Montreal and Vancouver, Seattle and New York
City, Kentucky and Florida and New Orleans and New England for the changing of the leaves..She loved to see new places, and return to the familiar land of her birth. She felt a special
affinity for the Potomac River. She loved to watch horses running and bald eagles soaring. For
the last 7 years, she lived with youngest granddaughter Luciana and her family. Known as GG
to her great-grandchildren, she held and bottle-fed each of Luciana’s babies. She was a daily
source of comfort and back-scratches and candy for the children. Watching them grow and learn
and play was a great delight for Doris in her latter years.
She never became “old”, and she never ran out of love to give. She will be dearly missed by all
who knew her, and welcomed with great rejoicing in reunion with all the loved ones who
preceded her in death.

Services will be held in Oxford, Nebraska in the spring of 2024.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Doris Marie Nelson, please visit our flower store.


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