Raya S. Nelson, 84, formerly of N. South Street, Warren, Pa., passed away on Sunday, November 11, 2012 at Golden Living Kinzua.
Raya was born in Warren on August 12, 1928, the daughter of the late Raymond and Edith Sikstrom Still. She was a 1946 graduate of WAHS; and a member of the First Lutheran Church. Raya always had a way of making everyone around her feel special and loved. She enjoyed music and dance to the extent that she tried to make musicians of all her children; encouraging them to take a variety of instrument lessons, as well as lessons in tap dancing. Raya loved to make chores of the kitchen into family events that produced many happy times, as well as lots of good food, candies, and desserts. Raya put her children's interests ahead of her own so the family as a whole could enjoy their interests of hiking, camping; and indulging their love of animals. She thoroughly enjoyed spending time with family and friends even if playing cards or board games, especially Scrabble, where she was ultimately the undefeated champion! She also loved to crochet, knit, sew and travel. When Raya did spend time in solitude, she enjoyed writing poetry, some of which was published. Her friends and family often received a poem recognizing special achievements with encouragement, or humorous anecdotes making light of events that didn't go quite as planned! Raya had the ability to show us how to laugh at our mistakes by always finding a positive in everyone and every challenge. Raya truly loved watching her children play sports and her grandsons' play soccer. She was unquestioningly the biggest fan in the stands rooting and encouraging the entire team.
She is survived by her loving husband of 60 wonderful years, Gerald W. Nelson; two sons: James Nelson, his wife Anne, Pittsburgh; their children: Nick Tverdosi and Michelle (Ken) Mitchell, Arlington, Va., and Andrew Tverdosi, Pittsburgh; John Nelson, his wife, Janet; their children: Melanie and Annabelle, Ridgecrest, Ca. and Stefanie Dehabermann, Las Vegas, NV.; two daughters: Lori Nowacki, her husband James, Warren; their children, Daryl (Andrea), Pittsburgh; and Joel, State College. Susan Johnson, her husband Joel; their children: Elijah, Eric, Lorin and Ali, of Irvine; two great grandchildren: Sonna Alm and Brody Smith; one brother, Robert Still, his wife Gladys, Warren; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by three sisters: Dorothy Bimber, Adelaide Genberg, and Lois Rudolph; and one brother, Clifford Still.
Friends will be received at the Peterson Blick Funeral Home, Inc., 1003 Penn Ave., E., Warren, on Friday, November 16, from, 5 to 8 p.m., and for one hour prior to a funeral service to be held at the First Lutheran Church, 109 W. Third St., Warren, on Saturday, November 17 at 11:00 a.m., with The Rev. David Blank, pastor, and The Rev. Jeffery Ewing, pastor, First Lutheran Church, co officiating. The family suggests memorial contributions be made to Alzheimer's Association, 1128 State St., Ste. 301, Erie, Pa. 165011920, or ASCERA Care Hospice, 1600 Peninsula Dr., Erie, Pa. 16505. The family will be receiving econdolences at www.petersonblickfuneralhome.com.