Eleanor Christine Merrill Nelson

EL PASO, Texas – Eleanor Christine Merrill Nelson, 89, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020 in El Paso, Texas. Eleanor had been a resident of El Paso for 56 years. She was born on Sept. 28, 1931, in Portland, to Ray W. Merrill Sr. and Beulah B. (Hiscock) Merrill, and was a graduate of Portland High School’s class of 1951, where she was the Captain of the Cadets drill team. She worked at the Portland City Hall as a young woman.

She was the third of four children, and was the last surviving sibling, having been preceded in death by her older brother, Ray W. “Bill” Merrill Jr., her older sister, Maxine Marion (Merrill) Hamilton, and younger brother, Sherwood S. “Scott” Merrill.

On Dec. 22, 1953, she married Frank Holt Nelson Sr., who she met when a friend introduced them while he was sitting in a tree watching a baseball game. Eleanor and Frank had three children, one son and two daughters.

In their early married years, they moved regularly courtesy of the United States Army, living in New Mexico, Arizona, and Washington. She arrived in El Paso when Frank accepted a civilian position at White Sands. Frank preceded her in death on Oct. 16, 1999.

She was very active in church, and was a member of Skyline Baptist Church, and more recently, Mountain View Baptist. She taught children’s Sunday school, sang in the choir, was president of the WMU, served on many church committees and acted as a youth chaperone throughout the years. She was known affectionately as ‘mom Nelson’ to the youth at Skyline Baptist Church when her children were teenagers.

She was primarily a homemaker, but also worked as a pre-school teacher at Johnson’s Small World, was co-owner of Sugar Plum Corner children’s clothing, and retired after 20 years serving in quality control for H&R Block. After retiring, she was an active member of the Red Hatter’s Society, “Betty Boop” Chapter.

She is survived by a son, Frank H. Nelson Jr., of Brownwood, Texas, a daughter, Karen R. Damron and her husband, Larry, of Pikeville, Ky., and a daughter, Sharon E. Nelson, of El Paso, Texas; six grandchildren, Mark D. Damron and wife Kellie, Kara R. Stewart and husband Jayson, Clark A. Damron, Erica C. Nelson, John A. Code, and Ross J. Damron; six great-grandchildren, Roman M. Damron, Rylan C. Nelson, Eden E. Damron, Silas M. Damron, Liam C. D. Goff, and Maverick R. Goff; brother-in-law, William P. Hamilton, sister-in-law, Wealthy A. Merrill; and many beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

For the last three and half years of her life, she resided at Good Life Senior Living and Memory Care, where she had many good times and made many friends. Her children wish to thank the staff and caregivers at Good Life for the love and attention they gave our mother and for their compassion to us in her final days. A special thank you to caregiver, Valerie Rocha.

Visitation will be from 9 to 11 a.m. on Nov. 25 at Funeraria del Angel Restlawn, 8817 Dyer St, El Paso, Texas. Funeral service will follow at 11 a.m. Internment at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery at 1 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:

Good Life Assisted Living and Memory Care

10400 Railroad Dr.

El Paso, TX 79924

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

262 Danny Thomas Place

Memphis, TN 38105

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