Lucille Lorene Nelson was born on her mother’s birthday at home near Dudley, Missouri, the youngest daughter of Clarence G. and Cecil Wright Teulker. She enjoyed her early childhood years playing on her grandparents’ ranch near Dudley, climbing trees, running to the woods, following her pet “watch goose,” and spending time in the kitchen with the cook.
In 1935, the Teulker family moved west to Turlock. Lucille attended Washington School, Hawthorne School, graduated from Turlock High School, and married her high school sweetheart Rolland L. Nelson. Lucille and Rolland lived in Turlock and raised two daughters, Susan and Colleen. The Nelson home was happy and busy with numerous activities, including church, snow skiing, sailing on California lakes, the Delta and Bay, and camping in the Sierras and at Aptos. Lucille worked at several local businesses, including Turlock Printing Co., Maxine Barrett Gifts in Modesto, and radio stations KTRB, KBEE, and KJOY. In 1967, Lucille began working in public relations for the California Milk Advisory Board. Although men dominated the positions in that department, Lucille was not bothered by it. She forged ahead with determination, integrity, and elegance. Every June, during Dairy Month, the California dairymen selected a princess to help educate the public about the nutritional value of milk and dairy products. As soon as the princess selection was announced, Lucille began arranging TV, newspaper and magazine interviews, public appearances, and speaking engagements for the crown winner. They worked as a team, taking the “everybody needs milk” message to the public from Crescent City to San Diego. After Lucille’s retirement, she traveled to the corners of the world with her longtime friend, Jack Powell of Sacramento. On a 6-week trip to Asia, the Tiananmen Square student rebellion raged and martial law was declared, requiring Lucille and Jack to board one of the last commercial flights out of Beijing. Lucille also devoted time to help friends with doctor’s appointments, shopping, and keeping a close eye on those whose family members were not nearby. She enjoyed reading, painting landscapes, cross-stitch, crewelwork, embroidery, and shopping for the latest fashions.
Lucille’s biggest and most joyful endeavor in retirement was helping care for her three grandchildren. After several years “Grammy” moved into a cottage on the property, where from across the patio her grandchildren could enjoy her company and nightly dinners with the family.
Grammy always had time for her family. She was loving and thoughtful, and she took time to be a good listener, give advice, and provide a shoulder to cry on. Some memorable experiences with Grammy were times spent reading, playing games, swimming, camping at Pinecrest and Aptos, and special trips to Disneyland with Aunt Colleen.
Everyone was impressed Grammy drove the motor home until she was 75 years old.
During the last five years, Lucille’s active lifestyle slowed. She developed renal failure and began dialysis. Traveling became difficult and day-trips to visit family and friends in the area became the norm. She maintained her cheerful outlook, her sparking blue eyes, and her non-judgmental attitude until the end.
Lucille was a member of Light of Christ Lutheran Church (Nazareth Lutheran Church) of Turlock since 1939.
She is survived by her daughters, Susan Nelson and husband Brad J. Lash of Modesto, and Colleen White (Forrest) of Turlock, grandson Erik Lash of Modesto, granddaughter Collette Lash of Davis, and grandson Spencer Lash of Santa Barbara. She also leaves sister Bernice Tell of Hilmar, sister-in-law and brother-in-law Sharon and Galen Person of Kingsburg, numerous nieces and nephews, and special family members Michelle Bishop, Teresa Powell and Tiffany Powell, all of Sacramento.
She was preceded in death by her parents Clarence and Cecil Teulker, cherished friend Jack Powell, and former husband and father of her daughters, Rolland L. Nelson.
Lucille’s wish to remain at home with her family and dog, Alfie—in familiar, comfortable, and safe surroundings—was achieved until August 2012. She will be deeply missed by family and friends.
A private graveside service will be held March 7 at Turlock Memorial Park.
A luncheon honoring Lucille’s life will be held Saturday, March 9, at 12 noon for family and friends. For information and location, please call Forrest at 209.482.6652, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special stories or comments you’d like to share may be emailed to Susan.
Remembrances in Lucille’s memory and honor may be made to the following:
Light of Christ Lutheran Church Building Fund
4510 Crowell Rd.
Turlock, CA 95382
4368 Spyres Way
Modesto CA 95356
Charity of the donor’s choice
Services entrusted to Turlock Memorial Park and Funeral Home