Marie Wilkerson Nelson


On 23 May 2015, my great-aunt Marie Lawrence Wilkerson Nelson died.  She was my grandmother Helon’s younger sister.

I remember calling her “Ahnt” Marie one time.  She scolded me something fierce and informed me that she was my “ant” Marie.  Apparently my quarter Yankee blood was showing.  After that I had my “ahnts” and my “ants”.  I still giggle about this.


Aunt Marie was also the person who taught me a trick for remembering phone numbers — putting them to music or at least a good beat.  We then danced around Grandmom and Granddad’s den while singing Papa and Nana’s phone number.  To this day I will sing that phone number in my head and want to do a dance.


My family is a sports loving family.  By that I mean we prefer to sit in seats and observe rather than participate, but Marie loved playing golf.   Every so often someone would remind her that although she was probably the best golfer in the family, her sister Helon was the one with the hole-in-one.

Once at a Duke football game way back in the 1970s, we were quite bored.  (Duke football then was very hit or miss — mostly miss.)  Then the student who was the mascot walked thru the stands.  This was when you could actually see the person’s face, before they started donning those huge heads and such. Marie elbowed me in the side and whispered that the mascot was a handsome devil.  (She wasn’t a quiet whisperer.)  Shortly after that a streaker ran across the field and she half-heartedly covered my eyes.  She was laughing too hard to cover them completely.


Marie’s obituary:

COLUMBIA— On a beautiful evening, May 23, 2015, Marie Wilkerson Nelson went to be with her Lord Jesus Christ. She was born January 10, 1928, in Durham, North Carolina. Marie was the daughter of the late Joseph Lawrence and Nellie Clark Wilkerson and the wife of the late Al Watson Nelson for 58 years. She was a charter member of St Andrews Presbyterian Church, a member of the Christian Women’s Club, and volunteered with Meals on Wheels. Marie was an excellent seamstress, making clothes and beautiful quilts. Marie and Al loved to travel and especially enjoyed cruises. She was an avid golfer and bridge player for many years. Marie worked part time at JB Whites and was known at Gold Gym as ‘grooving granny’.

She is survived by her three daughters, Linda Nelson Davis (Robbie) of Columbia, Susan Nelson Dox (Allan) of Irmo, and Cathy Nelson Raddatz of Irmo; six grandchildren, Kelly Sawyer (Todd), Steven Davis (Erica), Adam Dox (Courtney), Justin Dox, Rachel Barclay (Web), Caitlin Raddatz; four great granddaughters, Ella Davis, Eleese Sawyer, Addy Lane Dox, and Sadie Dox; sister-in-law, Zada Lee Nelson; nephew, Bill Kirkland (Ann); nieces, Pam Nelson Wheeler (Doug) and Peggy Nelson. Marie was predeceased by her sister, Helon Wilkerson Kirkland and cousins.