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Sylvia L. Nelson

Obituary for Sylvia L. Nelson

June 7, 1920 - July 30, 2018
Shavano Park, Texas | Age 98


Sylvia L. Nelson, age 98, passed away on Monday, July 30, 2018 in San Antonio, Texas. She was born in Hoyleton, Illinois on June 7, 1920 to Paul and Alma Rixmann.

Sylvia grew up in Okawville, a small farming community in southern Illinois. She and her parents and brother Paul attended St. Peter's Evangelical Church. They were active in the community and were surrounded by her large extended Koelling and Rixmann families. She graduated from Belleville High School in 1938 and moved to St. Louis, Missouri at age 18. She graduated from Rubicam Business College. She worked in St. Louis and lived with her adventurous Aunt Frances Koelling for many years.

In 1950, she met CPO Randolph ("Mike") Nelson on a blind date while he was stationed with the Navy in St. Louis. They married three months later and she moved with her husband to San Diego. Her daughter Susan was born there in 1953 while Mike was a Radioman Chief onboard ship during the Korean War. When he returned, they were stationed in New York and Virginia. Mike retired from the Navy and began working in civil service at Scott AFB in Illinois. Mike's Cryptography unit was transferred to Lackland AFB in San Antonio, Texas in 1957. It was at that time that the family became close, life-long friends with neighbors Nancy and Cal Clark and their children.

When Susan started school, Sylvia joined Mike in civil service at Lackland AFB. She was assigned to Medical Separations, where she won many Civilian of the Quarter Awards. She was known as "Mama Nelson" by the airmen there. She and Mike hosted many homesick airmen for holiday meals over the years. She retired with 20 years of civil service. She and Mike were happily married for 39 years until he passed away in 1989.

Sylvia became a part of another loving and extended family when Susan married Dr. Earl Wright in 1990. Sylvia and Earl were very close. She was dear friends with Earl's parents Nola and Earilee. Her granddaughter Laura, the joy of her life, was born in 1991. From that day forward, Laura was the focus of her life. She took care of her almost every day until she was 16. She was involved with Laura's many activities, taking her to church, piano lessons, and always sharing hotel rooms with her on family vacations. She and Laura's best friend, Mary, and cousin, Summer, spent many childhood days together. She greatly enjoyed being part of the Wright family with Earl's grown children Arlene, Darius and Adrian. She loved to visit on weekends and holidays with her step-great-grandchildren Donnell, Isaiah, Darianna, Adrianna, Maya, and Darius Jr., and to hear about their latest accomplishments.

Sylvia was a faithful and active member of Covenant Presbyterian Church, which she and Mike joined in 1958, and she last attended when she was 96. She was a member of the Lydia-Dorcas Circle, Holiday Bazaar committees, Saturday Singles and Young at Heart. She supported Missions, the Austin Presbyterian Seminary, the Presbyterian Children's Home and the Food Pantry. She was also a member of the Forest Oaks Garden Club and won the Leon Valley Beautification Award in 2005. Mike was active in the DAV, and Sylvia was Past Commander of DAV Auxiliary Unit #14. Sylvia loved gardening, stitching, and traveling with her husband Mike all over the United States, Canada and Mexico. In later years, she greatly treasured attending the Koelling Family Reunions in Hoyleton, Illinois, and catching up with the close family she grew up in. She was a member of Women's Super Fitness Gym until she was 85. When she needed a little help, she moved to The Waterford on Huebner where she lived for eight wonderful, active years. For the last three years, she lived at Bader House, where she was lovingly cared for by a wonderful staff and special friend Tina Hansen, who supported her desire to be active, look good, and be involved in life until she was 98.

She was preceded in death by her parents; brother, Paul C. Rixmann Jr. and husband, Randolph D. Nelson.
Sylvia is survived by her daughter, Susan Wright and husband Earl; granddaughter, Laura Wright; dear cousins, Brenda DuPree, Barbara Gatewood, Mark Koelling, John Koelling, Ruth DeBruine and Shirley Cunningham; beloved nieces and nephew, Brad, Carla, Gretta and Chris; step-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren and extended family.

The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, August 7, 2018, at Porter Loring Mortuary North.

12:00 P.M.

Interment will follow in Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Covenant Presbyterian Church.

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Porter Loring Mortuary North

2102 North Loop 1604 East
San Antonio, TX 78232
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