Rachel was born on December 5, 1938 in Stoughton MA and died after an extended illness at Morristown Medical Center on July 27, 2019.
She is survived by her husband of 59 years, George Andrew Nelson.
She is also survived by her son Andrew Scott Nelson, his wife Deborah, and grandsons Mathew and Bryan; and her daughter Karen Lynn Imhauser, her husband Kenneth, and granddaughters Amanda and Jessica.
Her parents were William Bissett and Mary Evelyn Bissett. She is predeceased by sisters Barbara Williams and Martha Murphy; and by brothers, William Bissett, Paul Bissett, Donald Bissett, and Richard Bissett. She is also predeceased by her half-sisters Irene Cox and Dorothy Adams, and half-brother Norman Bissett.
Rachel lived most of her young life in Easton MA and attended Oliver Ames High School in Easton MA. She graduated in 1956. She was a class officer and member of the orchestra as a violinist. She excelled at team sports and won twelve varsity letters in three sports. It was on the field hockey field that she first met her future husband.
She attended Lynn Hospital School of Nursing and graduated with an RN degree in 1959.
Rachel and George were engaged at Christmas 1958. They were married on October 3, 1959. They would have celebrated their 60th anniversary this year.
After college graduation, George entered the U.S. Navy, working in Washington D.C. Rachel worked at Arlington Hospital for four years. She followed him through moves to training places and always found nursing work wherever they went.
Her son Andrew was born in 1962 and daughter Karen in 1966.
After the navy they moved to Parsippany, N.J. , where they found employment. Rachel found a career in geriatric nursing at Morris View Nursing Home, and reached the level of Nursing Supervisor. She retired in 2000 with over 30 years of service.
They bought their first and only home in Randolph in 1969. She was a life member of the Randolph Rescue Squad, was a girl scout leader, and delivered meals-on-wheels.
She was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Morris Plains; and participated in many activities there, including Altar Guild.
Rachel continued her sports life by joining an adult field hockey club and being a pitcher in a fast pitch softball league. She learned to downhill ski and skied many mountains in the east, west, Canada and the Austrian Alps. She played golf and tennis. She cross-country skied and ice skated.
Rachel loved to travel. She traveled with her family to many national parks. Later she and George traveled the world. She especially liked small ship river tours in Europe. She climbed the Eiffel tower, she snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef and the Cayman Islands, she swam in the Indian Ocean, she zip lined in the Costa Rica jungle, she rode a camel in Egypt, she white water rafted in Alaska, and she photographed lions on safari in South Africa.
As a child and youth, she enjoyed the beaches of Cape Cod. She bought a house in Eastham MA 25 years ago, and spent many summers there. She belonged to the Chequessett Country Club for tennis and golf. She canoed, kayaked, and biked. Her favorite place was a secluded beach called Boat Meadow where she loved to watch beautiful sunsets.
Her grandchildren were the love of her life and she cherished every moment with them. She also loved spending time with her extended family and organized many family parties.
She made long lasting friends easily; from navy days, the Pocono Group (the Parsippany apartment friends and other friends), her nursing friends, her Randolph and Eastham neighbors, her ski club friends, her golf club friends and many others.
A memorial service is planned at Trinity Lutheran Church, 133 Mountain Way, Morris Plains, NJ 07950, for Tuesday August 13 at 10:30 am. A light lunch will follow.
In lieu of flowers please consider a contribution to Trinity Lutheran Church or the Randolph Rescue Squad.