Mary Louise (Weller) Nelson

September 10, 1936April 10, 2020

Mary Louise (Weller) Nelson, 83, passed away peacefully on Friday, April 10, 2020 in Lansing, Michigan. She was born on September 10, 1936 in Traverse City, Michigan to Jack and Florence (Rogers) Weller. She graduated from Traverse City High School, was then accepted to the Sparrow School of Nursing, and graduated with the class of 1957. She worked at Sparrow Hospital until she and her husband started their family.

Mary was an avid reader and she became an assistant librarian at the Haslett Public Library. She was a member of the library board for many years.

Her passion was the Haslett Food Pantry, an organization she helped start and continually served at for many years. She was a devout Christian and was active at Haslett Community Church. Mary was also a master gardener who loved spending time among her plants and teaching classes about gardening.

She enjoyed traveling in the USA and Europe, raising dogs for the School for the Blind, giving garden tours to raise money for the Humane Society and the Housing Commission, and started her own business – Mary’s Cottage Garden – selling plants for 15 years. She was a great cook and loved to make anything with chocolate, especially her well-known chocolate truffles.

Mary was the true embodiment of humble service to others: in her work as a registered nurse, as a wonderful, caring mother, and serving others through the food pantry, the library and her gardening work. She was nominated as “Woman of the Year” in 2008 based on her family, career, lifestyle, and fashion.

She was preceded in death by her daughter, Shelley Nelson; her parents; Tom's parents; and her brother, Roger.

Mary will be lovingly remembered by her husband of 62 years, Tom Nelson; her son, David (Shery) Nelson and daughter, Deb (Ted) Tzafaroglou; her grandchildren, Stephanie Tzafaroglou, Alexis Tzafaroglou, Matthew Tzafaroglou, and Becka (Brad) Davis; her great-grandchildren, Blake and Luke; her brothers-in-law, Roger Nelson, Gary Nelson, and Bob Cowan; and her many nieces, nephews, and dear friends.

A Celebration of Mary’s Life will be held at Haslett Community Church on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 11am, with Rev. Betsy Aho officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Haslett Community Church Food Bank, P.O. Box 217, Haslett, MI 48840.

Online condolences may expressed at


  • Haslett Community Church Food Bank


  • Memorial Visitation

    Saturday, September 18, 2021

  • Celebration of Mary's Life

    Saturday, September 18, 2021


Mary Louise (Weller) Nelson

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Stowitts

September 18, 2021

Mary was an angel put on earth to help others. She started the HCC food bank from one cupboard in the kitchen to many storage and freezer areas. At Christmas she could always find many families who needed help. One way she always got people to a meeting was providing delicious treats. Tom and family , she will be missed by many. Such a loving person to anyone she met.

Shari Anderson

July 18, 2021

Tom and family,
I am so very sorry about Mary. I have been praying for God's comfort for you almost every day. I pray you feel His hugs!

Matt VanAcker

July 18, 2021

Tom and family:

So sorry for your loss, she is tending God's gardens in Heaven now. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers!

Carl and Bev Wegener

April 19, 2020

Tom and Family,
It was ten years ago that I retired and my wife was worried about what I would do with my free time. So she signed me up to volunteer at the Haslett Food Pantry. So for the last ten years as part of restocking team, I got to spend "Tuesdays with Mary".
What a blessing to help in this endeavor with Mary!!
She certainly put all her heart and soul into that food pantry. She has trained me and many others in the workings of the food pantry and we will do our best to continue the legacy that Mary started!
Mary also shared many of her flowers from her yard with me and many others. She was very giving in sharing those flowers which many of us will enjoy for many years to come.
Peace be with you as days and weeks go on.
Carl and Bev

Liz Boyd

April 19, 2020

My sympathy to Mary’s family on your enormous loss. I knew Mary through her Cottage Garden business and, in fact, the red Bee Balm in my backyard came from her’s. She was so very sweet and to this day I did not know we shared the same birth day or love of libraries. Peace to you and her.

Mary Meirndorf

April 18, 2020

Tom and family,
My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family. Mary was an inspiration to so many; always leading with her heart. I was blessed that our paths crossed through the Food Bank. I will never forget the smile she had in helping and teaching others. May you find comfort in your memories. Prayers!

Phil Douglas

April 16, 2020

To Tom and family:
I’m so sorry for your loss. Having gone through this recently myself I know how a loss like this is so devastating. Please know I’m thinking of you guys and hope you find peace.
Take care,


Chelsea Vann

April 15, 2020

Dearest Tom,
Please accept my deepest sympathy on your loss, and may the peace that comes from the memories of love shared comfort you and your family now and in the days ahead.


Ginger Petty

April 14, 2020

Dear Tom,
I was so sorry to hear this sad news. Mary was such a faithful member of the Friends of the Haslett Library. She could always be counted on to help in all our endeavors - the book sales, board meetings, raising money for our new space , volunteering in the BOOKEND - she was always there and often brought her wonderful cookies or truffles with her!
We will miss her sweet smile and enthusiasm.
Ginger Petty