Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

April 16, 2013

Katharine Kinnear Nelson

BLUEFIELD — Katharine Kinnear Nelson age 86 of 320 Parkway Bluefield, W.Va. died Saturday April 13, 2013 at The Maples. Born February 2, 1927 in Bluefield, W.Va. she was the daughter of the late Walter Virgil Ross and Katharine McClung Ross.

Katharine “Kitty” was a portrait artist, with works displayed all around the country. An artist, as well as a homemaker, she was active in civic and community affairs, and her membership in Westminster Presbyterian Church, where she was very active in the youth group, serves as Brownie Scout and Girl Scout Leader. She also painted the portrait of Dr. C.H. Patterson, which hangs in the church today. She attended R.P.I. (Richmond Polytechnic Institute) Richmond, Va. as well as Concord University and West Virginia University and the Vavine Art Studio in Bluefield. She composed the lyrics to the Beaver High School alma mater song, as well as being an inductee to the BHS Academic Hall of Fame.

She was also a member, and historian of the John Chapman Chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution. Kitty loved nature; birds, trees and flowers, and was a very active proponent in animal rights and welfare. She loved history, and spent her life seeking knowledge, and was also a family genealogist. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by a brother Walter Virgil Ross Jr.

She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Dr. James A. Nelson, a daughter Katharine Lyle Nelson of Bluefield, W.Va., a son: James A. Nelson Jr. and his wife Carol of Bluefield, W.Va., grandchildren: USMC SSgt. James Andrew Nelson III and his wife Heather, Kailua, Hawaii, Adam Nelson and his wife Amber of Radford, Va. and Jacqueline Kelly Nelson of Bluefield, W.Va. and her fiancé Ben Sarles of Princeton, W.Va. Great-grandchildren are Ethan Nelson and Samantha Nelson of Kailua, Hawaii, and sister-in-law Willie Ross of Garden City, S.C.

Funeral services will be conducted Tuesday, April 16, 2013 at 2:00 p.m. at Mercer Funeral Home Chapel with Craig Hammond officiating. The family will receive friends one hour prior to service time. Interment at Monte Vista Park Cemetery in Bluefield will be private.

Serving the family as pallbearers will be Adam Nelson, Randy Phillips, “Lucky” Goforth, Wayne Pelts, Thomas Jeffrey and Rich Nuckolls. Honorary pallbearers will be “Lon” Hopkins, Cecil Smith, Keffie Curvence, Dick Silbaugh, Randy Stevens and Allen Jonas.

In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that memorial donations be made to the Mercer County Spay Association, Box 1992, Princeton, WV  24740.

Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting

Mercer Funeral Home & Crematory of Bluefield is serving the Nelson family.

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