Doctor Roberta's Story

SEDGWICK - The Reverend Doctor Roberta M. "Bobbie" Nelson died on January 2nd 2015 from complications of influenza. Her family is grateful they were able to be by her side.

Bobbie was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 9, 1935, the daughter of Raymond and Vera Martin. She grew up in Boston, and attended Girls Latin High School. She earned a Bachelor of Science from Tufts University in 1958. She received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago in 1996.

Bobbie began her career in Religious Education by serving the First Parish in Needham, MA (1959-1973), where she met and married her husband Christopher "Chris" Nelson in 1960. She was the Director of Religious Education at the UU Congregation of Fairfax in Oakton, VA (1973-1980). She was ordained and fellowshipped there in 1980, and served as their Minister of Religious Education until 1987. She was then the Minister of Religious Education at Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, Bethesda, MD (1987-2001).

She was actively involved in Unitarian Universalist denominational affairs throughout her career: serving on numerous committees, writing curricula, leading workshops and teaching courses at theological schools, and mentoring young theologians. She attended conferences and led workshops on Star Island, NH (1955-2005).

She and her husband Chris retired to Maine in 2001. Always passionate about children and education she volunteered at the Sedgwick Elementary School and loved listening to first and second graders read to her. She also served on the Healthy Peninsula Advisory Committee.

Bobbie enjoyed traveling, entertaining, cooking (especially desserts for her grandchildren), reading and keeping up with the news.

In 2012, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. As the effects 0f her disease progressed her life was enriched by the care and support from the staffs of Friendship Cottage, Loving Touch, Hancock County Hospice and the Island Nursing Home.

Bobbie is survived by her husband of 54 years, Chris; their daughters Heather of Surry, ME, Jennifer of Portland, ME, Joy Saams and her husband John Saams of Gambrills, MD; 3 grandchildren: Jack, James and Julia Saams of Gambrills, MD; and her brother Donald Martin and his wife Jean of Ellsworth, ME.

Family and friends are invited to a memorial service Saturday, January 10th at 2:00pm at the Ellsworth Unitarian Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to:

Friendship Cottage: 118 Ellsworth Road, Blue Hill, ME 04614

Hancock County Homecare and Hospice, Eastern Maine Home Care: EMHC Healthcare Charities,

PO Box 931, Bangor, ME 04402-0931

Island Nursing Home: 587 North Deer Isle Road, Deer Isle, ME 04627
Published in Bangor Daily News
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