ELEANOR DICKSON NELSON AUGUST 26, 1920 – JUNE 15, 2018
Eleanor Dickson Nelson, RN, a long-time resident of Las Vegas, NM died on June 15 in Santa Fe at the age of 97. She was born in 1920 in Hartford, CT, to Richard Dickson and Eliza McCafferty Dickson and graduated from Hartford High School and the Hartford Hospital School of Nursing. In the early days of World War II, she accepted a position in pediatrics at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. While there, she met her future husband, Oklahoma-born Richard W. Nelson, Gunner’s Mate First Class, US Navy. They were married in 1946 in Baltimore and traveled west to Las Vegas, NM, where she lived until less than a week before her death. Her husband died in 2002. In her early years in Las Vegas, she worked as a private nurse, then as a nurse at New Mexico Highlands University. She became a public health nurse in the 1960’s working for 20 years at the New Mexico Department of Public Health in various clinics, including those devoted to family planning, pre-natal care, well baby, immunizations, and children with disabilities until she retired in 1982. During this time, she was an active member of the New Mexico Nurses Association and in 1969 and 1970, served as president. In addition, she was active in community service as both a Deacon and an Elder of First United Presbyterian Church of Las Vegas.
In 1976, she became a founding member of the newly re-established and re-named Las Vegas Arts Council, and was the founding vice-president, later, president of the organization. She fondly remembered the council’s first concert in December 1976, featuring Dave Brubeck and the New Mexico Symphony.
She is survived by her daughters Susan Christensen (husband Richard), Sally Nelson Kruse, and Elizabeth (EJ) Nelson and by her grandchildren, Laura Christensen, Eric Kruse (wife Marie), and Aaron Kruse.
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on July 13, 2018