Janice K. Nelson
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Janice K. Nelson
  • February 24, 1940 - July 12, 2017
  • Turlock, California

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February 23, 1940 - July 12, 2017

Janice Kay Nelson was taken to be with her Lord in Heaven from her home in Turlock, CA about 1:00 pm July 12, 2017, after a long bout with Parkinson's Disease and dementia.

Janice was born in Fargo, North Dakota, the oldest of four children of Verne and Carolyn Larson. The family moved to Turlock, California where she grew up and graduated from Turlock High School. She attended Westmont University for two years and then transferred to BIOLA University where she earned her bachelor's Degree and her teaching credential.

She then entered into an elementary school teaching career teaching in Fullerton, CA and then in Fremont, CA. Janice always had a strong interest in Christian missionary work. In 1967, she began a five-year career at a Wycliffe Bible Translator's training center in Chiapas, Mexico. She taught all elementary school grades in a single classroom setting. Her students were the children of Wycliffe trainees and trainers. While there, she lived in a jungle setting in a hut with a dirt floor.

In 1972, she returned to Turlock and taught fourth grade at Elim Elementary school in Hilmar, CA. She attended the Monte Vista Chapel Church in Turlock and was in leadership at the singles group in that church. Through that group, she met and in 1975 began dating Elton Nelson. After a year and a half courtship, they were married on the Saturday after Thanksgiving on November 27, 1976, at the Monte Vista Chapel.

They lived in Patterson, CA for the first ten years of their marriage. While there, they attended and were active in the Patterson Covenant Church. Janice was particularly interested in promoting support of missionaries to foreign lands. In marrying Elton, Jan became the mother of Elton's son, Greg Nelson who was five years old at the time of their marriage. Janice and Elton had two more children, girls Lori and Lisa.

In 1986, the family moved to Turlock, CA and became part of the Evangelical Free Church (now Crossroads Church). Janice was again active in promoting the church support of missionaries as well as serving in the AWANA program and on the church serving committee.

In 2011, she was diagnosed with early stage dementia and in 2013 with a form of Parkinson's Disease. Despite the clear knowledge that her health was terminal, she accepted her circumstances with the dignity and confidence of a true woman of God. When asked about her thoughts about her condition she would say, "Bad things happen to good people as well as to bad, to Christians as well as to non-Christians. I am going to die. And I'll go to Heaven, and it will be great." Throughout her illness, she was an inspiration and loved by many. The Lord greatly used her for His Kingdom.

Janice was preceded in death by her parents, Verne and Carolyn Larson, and her brother, Bill Larson. She is survived by her husband, Elton Nelson, their son, Greg Nelson and his wife Jennifer, their daughter Lori Quillen and her husband, Rev. Brad Quillen and their daughter Lisa Onsum and her husband, Dr. Matt Onsum. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, by her sister Joy Scott and her husband Marvin, and her sister Lois Johnson and her husband, Jerry.

Visitation will be at Whitehurst-Norton-Dias Funeral service on Monday, July 17, 2017 from 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM. A graveside service will be held at Turlock Memorial Park on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 9 AM. This will be followed by a Memorial Service at Crossroads Church, 1360 N. Johnson Rd, Turlock, CA on Tuesday at 10 AM. A reception luncheon will follow. All are welcome to attend both services.

Before her passing, Janice requested that memorial donations be made to the Crossroads Church or to Westside Ministries.


Arrangements under the direction of Whitehurst-Norton-Dias Funeral Service (FD504), Turlock, CA.