Dorthy Mae Nelson

January 3, 1924August 6, 2019

Dorothy Mae Heuermann Nelson was born to Bernard Benjamin Heuermann and Maggie Mary Hartnell Heuermann on January 3rd, 1924. Dorothy was born at home, a rural Nebraska homestead located 4 miles east and 2 miles north of the town of Phillips in Hamilton County, during a blizzard. During the 1920’s and 1930’s the family grew with the births of Dorothy’s brothers Keith, Eugene, and sister’s Elizabeth, Martha and Alma. During that time, the Heuermann family moved to closer to Phillips, NE and lived in a small farmhouse originally homesteaded by her paternal grandparents. Dorothy’s elementary school education took place in Phillips Rural District Center School #86, the same one classroom schoolhouse that her father, aunts and uncles had all attended when they were children. Dorothy graduated from Phillips High School, with class of 1942. September 1942 Dorothy attended the University of Nebraska in Lincoln, NE where she studied Home Economics, and then completed a teaching credential. She graduated in May 1945 and accepted her first teaching position at the high school in Wauneta, NE south-west of North Platte. Dorothy later taught in Brainard and Seward, Nebraska High Schools before marrying.

On June 9th 1953, Dorothy was married to Darren Melvin Nelson, a Nebraska farm boy from Raymond, NE. Dorothy’s teaching career was put on hold to raise a family, while Darren pursued graduate school education and animal science teaching positions. During the late 1950’s and through late 19060’s the family moved often; Lincoln, NE, Pullman, WA, San Luis Obispo, CA, Purdue, IN, Champaign, IL, Kansas City, KS, Oklahoma City, OK, Redlands, CA, Seattle, WA finally settling in Fresno, CA. Dorothy resumed teaching while living in Fresno, and ultimately retired from the high school located in nearby Sanger, CA.

Dorothy lived 95 years, 6 Months 3 days, and passed during the early morning hours of August 6th, 2019. Dorothy is survived by 4 adult children; Marla Speechly, Dana Nelson, Michelle Ennis, and Douglas Nelson, 5 grandchildren; Benjamin and Daniel Speechly, Sarah Ennis, Erik and Carl Nelson, and 2 great grandchildren; Mika and Landon Speechly. Dorothy will be remembered for her devotion to church, genealogy and Nebraska. She will be buried Saturday August, 17th at 10:00am at the Lincoln Memorial Park Cemetery, in Lincoln, NE. There will be a memorial service, yet to be announced, at Millbrook Presbyterian Church in Fresno, CA where Dorothy was a member for 50 years.

At the request of the family, in place of cards, gifts or other remembrance please consider a small donation be made to the Millbrook Presbyterian Church or charity of your choice.



  • Graveside Service Saturday, August 17, 2019


  • A Memorial Service will be held at a later date at Millbrook Presbyterian Church, Fresno, CA.


Dorthy Mae Nelson

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