Sally Nelson, 83

March 9, 2023

Sally Kane Nelson, 83, of York, Pennsylvania, formerly of Concord, died peacefully at SpiriTrust Lutheran, the Village at Sprenkle Drive on February 28.

She was born in Boston on April 15, 1939 to the late Andrew and Katherine (Collins) Kane. Sally grew up in both New York City and Charlestown — across the street from the Bunker Hill Monument. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Massachusetts, Amherst, a master’s degree from Westfield State and another master’s and her doctorate from Boston College, as well as further studies at Harvard and many more. The daughter and niece of French teachers, Sally began her teaching career in elementary education in Connecticut, before quickly transitioning to French (and later also Latin) in Newton, then Lexington. It was at Lexington High School where she would share an office with Robert, an English teacher who would become her husband of 46 years before his passing in 2017.

Upon her retirement from Lexington, Sally continued teaching in multiple roles, as a substitute in the Concord Public Schools, as a tutor in a range of subjects, and at the collegiate level at Simmons College, both supervising foreign language student teachers and teaching a graduate-level teaching methods class. In retirement, Sally also began working part time for the Concord Fire Department in an administrative role. She cherished being a small part of such an important group in her adopted town with the brave, hard-working men and women employed there. 

Her professional career rounds out with writing assignments over several decades for the local newspapers around the Metrowest region like the Concord Journal, Carlisle Mosquito and Acton Beacon. Finally, what began in 1986 when Sally won a Rockefeller grant to travel around France using the then new technology of home video cameras to create class room-ready videos for use in her French classes, became yet another successful side job, as she and Bob took on videography work — filming weddings, bar mitzvahs and such.

In her leisure time, Sally loved to catch up with her many cousins as well as travel, be it in a VW bug around the country in the late 60s with friends, around Europe with family, friends or students, or around New England’s many harbors, ski mountains, and lobster joints. She was also a devoted congregant at St. Irene’s in Carlisle, and a member of their Women’s Club. Most summers, she could be found watching her beloved Red Sox or swimming at the Silver Hill pond, well known by her red hair and exuberance for splashing and playing with the neighborhood children.

She is survived by her son, Christian Peter Dunham Nelson and his wife Anita Ya Srun Nelson, two grandchildren, Jackson Ansley Srun Nelson and Coraline Ya Kane Nelson, all of Pennsylvania, and two nephews, David Mason of New Hampshire and Kenneth Mason of Rhode Island, as well as their wonderful families.

Family and friends are invited to gather for visiting hours on Thursday, March 9, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Dee Funeral Home, 27 Bedford Street, Concord Center. Her funeral Mass will be celebrated on Friday, March 10 at 10 a.m. at St. Irene Church, 181 East Street, Carlisle. Following a reception in the parish hall, services will conclude with burial at Glenwood Cemetery in Maynard.

Despite possessing no green thumb, Sally loved flowers. However, if you prefer a contribution in her memory, they may be made to the Concord Council on Aging, 1276 Main Street, Concord, MA 01742, The Edith Stewart Chase Foundation c/o Marion A. Hardy Trust, Milford Common – Suite #114, 258 Main Street, Milford, MA 01757, or St. Irene Church, c/o Parish Center, 70 Monument Square, Concord, MA 01742.

Arrangements are under the care of Dee Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Concord.  To share a remembrance or to offer a condolence in Sally’s online guestbook, please visit