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Zeller Chapel of the Roses

2107 Northeast Broadway Street
Portland, OR 97232
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“We were so saddened to hear of Nell's passing this week. Some of my earliest memories are of our trips back to Portland with our mom, Irja, and our...Read More »
1 of 1 | Posted by: Joanne & Bruce Pafume and Family - KS


A Funeral Service will be held 11:00 AM – Friday – April 24, 2009 at Zeller Chapel of the Roses, 2107 NE Broadway, celebrating the life of Nellie Karen Challis, who passed away April 17, 2009 in Portland, Oregon at eighty-eight years of age.
Nellie Karen Nelson was born in Portland, Oregon on September 2, 1920 to her parents Abraham and Katri (Arvola) Nelson, who were Finnish immigrants.
Nellie attended Boise Elementary School and Jefferson High School graduating in 1937. She then went on to attend Oregon State University graduating in 1942 with Bachelor of Science degree in Business. She worked her way through college employed with the telephone company until she graduated.
During the war, Nellie worked at the Ration Board, she also spent three years working for Bonneville Power. In addition, she worked in the Customs House for fourteen years, becoming the first woman customs agent in Portland, Oregon. Nellie retired from her work with the federal government in 1862 after thirty-three years of service.
She was an active member of the United Finnish Brotherhood and Sisterhood Lodge #23 for many years.
Then in 1952, Nellie fell in love with Mr. John Challis and accepted his hand in marriage.
Nellie is survived my many adoring nieces and nephews.