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Nancy Allin Nelson Obituary

Robin Allin’s Sister

This is a remembrance for a life fully lived. Nancy was born on October 4, 1947 in Madison, WI and she died peacefully at home, surrounded by family, on August 5, 2020 . In those intervening years she taught children, raised children (3), doted on grandchildren (7), nourished her community through volunteer service and non-profit work, and most significantly, gave a fierce love and devotion to her husband of 51 years, Russ. She was a strong believer in finding the joys in life and in advocating for positive change in the world. She found peace and wonder in the natural world – whether at her cherished cabin in Northern Wisconsin or on her many trips – with Russ, family, friends – to places of remarkable beauty in the Americas, Europe, Africa and the Arctic. Her photographer’s lens was sharply focussed, on the stamens of lilies, the still waters of northern lakes, or the feathers of baby loons.

Nancy loved nothing more than to gather her people together. She brought deep love to her relationships: as wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, sister and friend. She was closely involved in her grandchildren’s lives, actively involved in their early years, and nurturing their individual talents and passions as they have grown. Nancy kept in touch with many, both near and far, as evidenced by a dog-eared address book that charted each move and new addition to the extended network of Nelsons, Allins, and her ever widening circle of friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Robin and Ruth Emery Allin, and by her brother, Lyndon King Allin. She is survived by her beloved husband Russ Nelson, her children Matthew Allin Nelson (Kelley Nelson), Erica Marie Nelson (Dylan Howitt), and Marin Elizabeth Nelson (Darrin Kovar), and her grandchildren Tyler and Zachary (Matt and Kelley), Sylvie (Erica and Dylan), Teddy and Lincoln (Marin and Darrin), step-grandchildren Quentin and Ozzi (Darrin), brother Robin Allin Jr., best friend and sister-in-law Judy Nelson, niece Vicki Homuth and many other cherished family members.

Travelling back to a crucial juncture, Nancy first went to Knox College for her freshman year, then transferring to the University of Wisconsin – Madison to finish her undergraduate degree (and to be closer to her “sweet Russie”). She received her Bachelor of Science Degree with Honors in Elementary Education and a minor in French in 1969. She and Russ then embarked on a series of adventurous moves – first to Seattle, then New York City, and back to Madison teaching elementary school in each location. In 1978, she and Russ moved to Minneapolis and became official Twin Citians, raising their three children at 2817 Brookwood Terrace, near the banks of the Minnehaha creek.