Anita Jean Nelson, 71, of San Mateo, passed from this life on August 6, 2023 at San Mateo, FL after a brief illness.
Born in Jamestown, North Dakota, Anita moved to Marathon in the Florida Keys with her husband in 1976, where they resided for four decades. Retirement brought a move to Putnam County in 2015, just two years ahead of the worst hurricane to impact the Keys in those 40 years.
Anita was a “Jane of all trades,” as a banker for thirteen years; a teaching assistant and substitute teacher for four years; a real estate vacation rentals office assistant for two; a community newspaper production assistant for one; as well as providing home-based office services and graphics production for a number of years, for commercial and nonprofit organizations. Anita volunteered extensively in Middle Keys schools, as a reading and math tutor, AVID and Take Stock in Children mentor, and as a preschool board member as well as serving on a School Advisory Council and in a Parent-Teacher Organization.
After taking classes at no fewer than six colleges and universities, Anita earned her Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from the University of Iowa at age 55. Teaching certifications followed.
Anita was a Sweet Adeline and a member of woman’s clubs in Marathon and Palatka, as well as a member of the Rotary Club of Palatka Sunrise.
Anita was preceded in death by her parents, Stephen and Della Taylor, and by her brother Donald Taylor (Elaine). She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Richard Nelson, of San Mateo; and by her son, Steven Nelson, of Ft. Myers, as well as by a sister, Jeanette Schluter (Rod), of Valley City, North Dakota; a brother, Thomas Taylor (Lahna), of Farmington, Washington, by numerous nieces and nephews, and by a demented cat named Oreo.
Anita enjoyed boating excursions on the family’s boats while in the Keys, which were a convenient jumping-off point for trips to the Dry Tortugas and Bahamas. She was an artist and enjoyed writing, having helped her father publish a memoir; she had two books of her own in the works at the time of her passing.
Celebration of life to be held at a future date.
Memories and condolences may be expressed to the family at Anita’s Book of Memories page at www.johnsonoverturffunerals.com .
Memorial donations may be made to Palatka Sunrise Rotary’s scholarship program, or to Putnam First Cancer Fund.
Arrangements are entrusted to Johnson-Overturf Funeral Home in Palatka.