Rachel Kim Nelson

Born July 7, 1968
Play Tribute Movie Play Tribute Movie

Dr. Rachel Kim Nelson, Duck Springs, AL, passed away on June 1, 2018.

Funeral service will be at 11 Friday at Morgan Funeral Chapel. Pastor Jackey Connell and Dr. Harry Whitt will officiate. Burial will be in Noble Hill Cemetery.

Rachel is survived by her brother and sister, Jamie Nelson and Patti Jones; sister-in-law, Kay Nelson; her nieces and nephews, Jason Nelson, Justin (Anna) Nelson, Christy (Rodney) Phillips, Josh Nelson, and Amy (Jason) Gargus; her great nieces and great nephews, Rayley Nelson, Micayla Phillips, Addyson Phillips, Kendyl Nelson, Jalen Nelson, Nicole Nelson and Hunter Nelson. She is predeceased by her parents Gordon and Patsy Nelson; her brother Keith Nelson.

Rachel was born on July 7, 1968. She was the first member of her immediate family to graduate from college. She received her Associates Degree in Veterinary Technology from Snead State Community College in 1989 and her Doctorate of Veterinarian Medicine from Auburn University in 1996. After receiving her doctorate, Rachel completed her externship at Wildlife Safari in Winston, OR. She worked as a veterinarian in Las Vegas, NV; Huntsville; Vestavia; Hoover; and Birmingham. All of that experience led her to open her own veterinarian practice, Crossroads Animal Hospital in Moody in 2005. She was proud of her animal clinic and described owning it as her dream come true. She appreciated her staff and the pet families who trusted her to provide care for their babies.

Rachel was a life-long lover of animals and decided at a young age that she wanted to work as a veterinarian. From trying to save wounded wild life to adopting neighborhood strays, Rachel devoted her life to providing care to animals. She was the pet mother to 5 dogs and 3 cats. She has past served as the Jefferson County Veterinary Medical Association Treasurer. Her volunteer efforts related to animals included participating in Hand in Paw Therapy and Rotties and Notties Animal Rescue.

Rachel accepted Christ early in life and was an active church member at Eden Westside Baptist Church. She considered herself to be life-long learner and was an avid reader, particularly of books about Christian faith and spiritual well-being. As such, Rachel recently received her diploma of Biblical Studies from Samford University. Rachel had worked as a Third Grade Life Discovery Teacher, a Revelation Walk Ministry Actor and a leader of the Divorce Care Ministry at Eden Westside Baptist Church.

Rachel was a proud small business owner and had served as a St. Clair County Business Women’s Association Board Member.

Rachel’s other charitable work included serving as an American Cancer Society, Relay for Life Team Leader and Chairman and as a Team Leader for the March of Dimes, Walk America.

Rachel loved her alma mater and cheering for the Auburn tigers. She enjoyed road trips, traveling and driving her convertible. She also cherished time spent with family and friends.

Rachel will be deeply missed by her family, friends and all who knew her.

The family wishes to thank Rachel’s special friends Kati Higginbothom, Catherine Stuart Sweatt, Cathy Cobb, Charlie Bush, Barney Sewell, Dr. Chelsea Quick, Dr. Marie Rush and all of the staff at Crossroads Animal Hospital. Thanks to all of those who supported Rachel and those who have expressed words of encouragement to the family during our time of mourning.

Pallbearers will be Shannon Gray, Frank Leatherwood, David Leatherwood, Andrew Smith, L.J. Rosson, and Brad Sewell.

The family will receive friends Thursday from 6pm-8pm at Morgan Funeral Chapel.


  • Funeral Service Friday, June 8, 2018

Rachel Kim Nelson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Angela Isbell

June 9, 2018

My favorite memory of Rachel was when my son and I rescued a chicken that fell from a truck at Moody Crossroads. When I explained to my son where the truck was taking them he begged me save it and take it to Dr Nelson. Rachel laughed as we brought it in but let my son name it then she told him not to worry she would take it home with her and keep it safe. That was who she was. A generous soul who saw worry in a child’s face and love for even a chicken. Thank you Rachel, we had fun working together on the chamber of commerce as well as taking care of my animals and for the friendship we shared. You will be missed by so many.

Jennifer Hicks

June 8, 2018

Rachel, I remember working with you at the Emergency Clinic years ago. You taught me so much as I was a new graduate technician. I respected you to the fullest. We had a lot in common, I wish we could have been closer. We will miss you down here, but I can only imagine the Glory you are seeing right now. We will see you soon!

Laura Steen

June 7, 2018

So sorry to hear of the passing of Dr Nelson. I have a dog she rescued, and I decided to help foster during heartworm treatments. His name is Bungee. He is now 13 years old and still going strong. If it had not been for her, he would not have had a good life. Thanks Dr. Nelson....


Kim Eaddy

June 7, 2018

You will be truly missed, our sweet angel of fur babies, their parents and all who came across your path in life. You have no idea how many lives you touched or how far spread your love went in this world. Like I said before, you are the thousands of gems you have honestly earned in the crown you are wearing.
Walk with those fur babies across the Rainbow Bridge as we will see you again in Heaven.
My son and his family thank you so much for caring for his service dog, Cyrus as he was on his way to the Rainbow Bridge.
We will truly miss your hugs, your beautiful smile and your loving, loving heart. You are one of a kind, Rachel.

Brie Doherty

June 7, 2018

Thank you Rachel for all your love and compassion. You are an inspiration and I am honored to have known you. Your dedication to the animals was amazing. Thank you for all of the wonderful foster babies you sent to us. You will be missed deeply. God bless, fly high. XO

Beverly Hogan

June 7, 2018

I had taken in a poor pup that was being tossed from one un-wanted home to another. He was not a cute dog at all - at first. I took him in and promised to care for him forever. He became a handsome boy named "Slim Shady". He was a celebrity well-known to Crossroads Clinic. Six years into his life, he developed a cancer in his throat that continued to get larger despite several efforts at treatment. Rachel and her colleague supported me in giving him the palliative care I had promised him. Many vets would have put him down but Rachel kept us honest about what his needs and comfort levels were. He died a happy boy and I fulfilled my agreement without prolonging his pain. The same was true when my cat developed kidney failure. Rachel's down-to-earth demeanor, wonderful caring manner, and deeply embedded compassion will be remembered by many. Rachel extended herself to others, especially animals and those who cared for them. Her legacy as a well-loved veterinarian and compassionate woman who made a difference will continue in this world long after she has departed. I wish all Rachel's friends, clients, and family the ability to find grace and peace (in due time) from Rachel's unexpected departure. Those who love the deepest leave the biggest hole in our hearts BUT their life can yield an experience of love that is ever-present, and grows in the light- every day - in the lives of those who remain.

Harvey Jr. Sheppard

June 7, 2018

I remember visiting my cousins, Patti, Jamie, Rachel, and Keith during the summers at their home in the country. One visit I remember there was six kittens who had been abandoned by their mother. They followed Rachel who was probably six years old, everywhere she went. I guess you could say she was already training for her destiny as a vetinarian. Rachel loved all people and all animals and everybody knew it! We will see you in heaven. Praying for you Patti and Jamie and family and holding you close to my heart. Love you always, Harvey Jr. and Robin and family

teresa eichlin

June 7, 2018

So very sad for the loss of an amzing and wonderful woman. She enriched the lives of everyone, including all the furbabies she helped and saved. I thank her ever so much for bringing Kaycee into my life. She was an amazing furbaby and our family is so glad she was a part of it. You are and always will be an angel watching over our furbabies.

Jo Ann Castleberry

June 7, 2018

I got to know Rachel and with My Pets, She was a wonderful and Sister
in Christ. She took care of My cats, sometimes without charging a fee.
She loved the Lord with all her heart and would let you know it.
Heaven's gain is My loss, I thank the Lord for knowing Her. We will
miss her so much. Moma Jo Ann Castleberry

Rusty and Laura Evans

June 7, 2018

Every morning I wake up it feels the world is a little less brighter knowing she’s not in it any more. Rusty came in last night fussing saying he wished he could call his sister and tell on me for not feeding him lol She always made everything better. No matter what was going on in her life she would stop and drop everything. Come to you, take charge and fix it. If she couldn’t fix it she would hold you until you felt better. She was my hero and got me into rescue and I was lucky enough to foster over 20 fur babies out of the hundreds she saved. My granddaughters 1st birthday we signed papers making her God Mother 💝 and we were blessed to be with her when she had to clean out her dads place after he passed away. I’m going to miss our birthdayday as we called it. Mine is the 5th and hers the 7th so we named the 6th as our special day. I’m going to miss our Mexican Sunday’s , our snacky tray day, her beautiful face. Her everything. She was my best friend. She had a lot of people that loved her and could call her best friend. I am so sorry for your loss. My heart is shattered with yours.