Karel Faye Nelson, 1939-2022

Karel Faye Nelson, 82, died Saturday, June 25, 2022 at her home in Lansdowne, Virginia. 

She was born November 27, 1939, in Rawlins County, Kansas to Howard H. Andrews and Daisy (Erwin) Andrews. She graduated from Colby High School and soon afterwards moved to Denver, Colorado where she worked in the classified ads department for the Denver Post Newspaper. She married Vaughn E. Nelson on August 14, 1960. He preceded her in death. 

As a young Army wife and mother, Karel navigated unfamiliar cities in Japan and Germany with babies in tow. She handled the stresses of military life, raising three children and working in administrative secretarial positions, while Vaughn was on long assignments abroad. After Vaughn retired from the Army, the Nelson’s ultimately settled in Columbia, Maryland where Karel worked in medical billing for Patuxent Medical Group and Blue Cross Blue Shield. 

After retiring, Karel moved to Lansdowne, Virginia. She enjoyed her condo’s 10th floor view of the lush Virginia countryside and told stories of farm life as a young girl and growing up in Colby, Kansas. She passed down an amazing recipe for chocolate mayonnaise cake, best served warm with butter on top. She loved to travel and enjoyed many trips with children and grandchildren to natural wonders and national parks. She took full advantage of the county’s senior center bus trips, to performances in Washington DC and historical sights, and on tours of the United States and Canada. Her other loves included cats, plants, fine dark chocolate, good potato chips, game shows and Dove miniature ice cream bars. 

Shy and unassuming, Karel had a tender heart and touched everyone with her kindness. She was stoic, and bravely persevered through tough times. She loved deeply and was deeply loved, and will be remembered and missed for her generosity, indelible grace, humility and quiet strength. 

Karel was preceded in death by a brother, H. Merlin Andrews. 

Survivors include a son, Russell Nelson and wife, Sandra, Copperas Cove, Texas; two daughters, Renay Lang and husband Peter, Leesburg, Virginia, Ralean Staub and husband Joseph, Elizabeth, Colorado; seven grandchildren, Matthew Nelson, Jared Nelson, Cassandra Nelson, Thomas Price Lang, Casey Lang, Katherine Lang, Bailey Staub; two great-grandchildren; a brother, Gary R. Andrews, Hays, Kansas. 

Graveside service and interment will be held at Arlington National Cemetery, Virginia, on September 1, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.  

Leave a Reply