Carolyn Belle Croft Nelson, 90, passed away on November 8th, 2021, after a long and well-lived life. She was born in Centralia, Illinois on October 3rd, 1931, to Paul and Marie Croft. Close friends and family often called her Cecy.
Following her high school graduation she attended Cornell College with a minor in dance and major in English. After leaving college she moved to Lost Nation, Iowa where she taught English and coached girls basketball. She left Lost Nation to marry her husband Donald Edward Nelson just three days after he returned from his naval assignment in Korea. Cecy and Don left Iowa and spent time in California, Kentucky and Missouri before moving to Opp, Alabama for what they anticipated to be a short term relocation, but the move resulted in discovering their life long home.
Their first child, Susan, was born in Fulton, Kentucky, and she was followed by Julie and Andy who were born in Opp, Alabama. Carolyn was a gentle, kind soul who loved people and being with her family. She enjoyed coffee with friends, reading, walking, swimming, painting her signature watercolor scenes and attending church. While living in Opp she was an active member of the Opp Church of Christ and remained faithful to Christ while spending 17 years in assisted living facilities as a result of Parkinson’s disease.
In addition to her husband, Don, Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents, sister-in-law, Phyllis D. Nelson, and nephew, Scott Howard Croft. She is survived by her children, Susan (Clark) Sanders of Eufaula, AL; Julie Nelson of Alabaster, AL; Andy (Connie) Nelson of Dothan, AL.; and brother, Howard (Betty) Croft of Fort Worth, TX.
She is also survived by her grandchildren, Chris (Melanie) Sanders of Senioa, GA; Hillary (Daniel) Williams of Owens Crossroads, AL; Ben Nelson; Caroline Nelson, both of Dothan, AL and three great grandchildren, Noah Sanders, Madelyn Sanders, and Harrison Williams. In addition to these muchloved family members, she also leaves behind nephew, Steven Croft and nieces, Sherry Picciolo and Sandy Shephard.
Pallbearers are Andy Nelson, Ben Nelson, Clark Sanders, Chris Sanders, Daniel Williams and Steve Croft. Honorary pallbearers are Sean Sellars, Trippy McGuire, Robert Breedlove, David Breedlove, Paul Catrett, Mike Mullen and Richard Spurlin.
The family would like to thank Hiram and Faye Bell, the staff and administration of Signature Healthcare of North Florida and the Palliative/Comfort Care Team at Southeast Health in Dothan. A graveside service will be held Sunday, November 14th, 2 PM, at Peaceful Acres Cemetery in Opp, Alabama with Wyatt Funeral Home officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Mount Dora Childrens Home (301 W. 13th Avenue – Mount Dora, Florida 32757 – mdchome.org)