Nelson Hill Garman

PEAKS ISLAND – Nelson Hill Garman, 60, known in her earlier years as “Jamie”, passed away peacefully on Jan. 25, 2023, after a lengthy relationship with cancer. Nelson did not let her health become a battle; instead she researched her types of cancers and possible treatments and she prolonged her life so that she could live it fully.

Nelson was a longtime resident of Peaks Island. She loved island life and she found someone to share that love in Jerry Garman, her husband who predeceased her in 2015. Nelson was closely connected to the New Brackett Church community and recently served as treasurer of the Peaks Island Health Center. Her island community was dear to her.

At the beginning of Nelson’s career, she worked at the Carroll Reed Ski Shop in North Conway, N.H., where she used her interest in retail and marketing to quickly become a buyer for the business. Naturally, a business degree followed (from Babson College) and right after that a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship took her to Western Europe. France was especially appealing, such that Nelson worked marketing jobs there on two different occasions – Paris in the mid ’90s and Fontainebleau in the early 2000s.

Nelson’s MBA thesis from Simmons Graduate School of Management was on leadership. In her later adult years, Nelson was passionate about teaching the next generation of women the power of their voice. She was especially fond of her role as a forum facilitator for the Olympia Snowe Women’s Leadership Institute in Portland, because the local non-profit, named after Maine’s renowned U.S. senator, focuses on teaching high school girls about their values, voice, and vision.

In recent years, Nelson worked as a life coach to support people with professional transitions and personal development and she was writing a book about women and power.

Not having kids of her own, Nelson truly cherished her many nieces and nephews. She called each of them on their birthdays … not just for a quick greeting, but for the opportunity to hear what they were up to. And she did this from as early as they could talk on the phone through young adulthood. She was so proud of every one of them.

Nelson is survived by her parents Dick Hill and Nancy Nelson, who raised their family in Concord, N.H.; her five sisters and their partners, Pamela and Ed Sampadian of Concord, N.H., Wendy and Rick Flanders of Pocono Pines, Pa., Tracy Hill and Cathy Gore of Portland, Gretchen and Ed Bradley of North Conway, N.H., and Heidi Hill and Tom Thurston of Waterbury, Vt.; her nieces and nephews include Ashley, Lindsey, Alex, Gretchen, Emily, Chelsea, Hannah, Kieffer, Zachary, Ava, and Julia.

A memorial service will be held in early spring. Arrangements are under the direction of the Conroy-Tully Walker Funeral Home, 172 State St., Portland. To view Nelson’s memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to

New Brackett Church,

9 Church Ave.,

Peaks Island, ME 04108

or online at

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