Cover photo for Mary  Lou Nelson's Obituary
Mary  Lou Nelson Profile Photo

Mary Lou Nelson

October 30, 1933 — February 1, 2022

Mary Lou Nelson

Mary Lou (Hartgraves) Nelson went peacefully to her Lord and Savior in the morning of Tuesday, February 1, 2022.  She was a loving wife, mother, “Nanaw”, and friend, and will be deeply missed by all those who knew her. 


Mary was born to Guy and Wyma Hartgraves on October 30, 1933, in Hamilton, Texas.  She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of sixty-two years, Alfred (Al) L. Nelson, and her son, Samuel C. Nelson.


Mary is survived by her daughter-in-law, Nancy Nelson of Kingsville, her grandson, Travis Nelson and wife Laura, and their children, Samuel, Adeline, and Eloise of Corpus Christi, and her granddaughter, Katie Nelson, of San Antonio.


Mary moved to south Texas when she was a young girl, and grew up in Robstown.  She met many of her lifelong friends while there.  She moved with her family to Bishop her senior year of high school and graduated from Bishop High School.  She earned her degree in education three years later from Texas College of Arts and Industries in Kingsville.  She spent many years as an elementary school teacher in Corpus Christi, Sinton, and Portland.


Mary met her future husband, Al Nelson, after moving to Bishop. They married in 1954. Mary was a devoted wife, and an adoring mother to their son, Sam.  She raised her family in Port Lavaca, Corpus Christi, and Sinton while making great friends in each community along the way.  


Mary and Al lived in Portland for several years before retiring.  Mary was a member of First United Methodist Church of Portland.  She enjoyed serving on the “Log Rolling Team,” who prepared the monthly newsletter for mailing, and participated in the Women’s Evening Fellowship.  She was also a member of the ChatWork Civic Club.


Her later years were spent traveling and enjoying time with her family and friends. She also enjoyed shopping, decorating, loving her pets, giving thoughtful gifts, and showering her children and grandchildren with love.  She will always be remembered as a faithful wife, mother, grandmother, and friend with a caring, selfless, and beautiful heart.


The family would like to extend their deep appreciation and thanks to the caring staff at The Viera Senior Living in Corpus Christi, and to all of the wonderful family and friends who showed their love and kindness for Mary during the past several years.


A memorial service will be held on Friday, February 11, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of Portland, 4545 Wildcat Dr., Portland, TX 78374.  Live video streaming of the service will also be available at  A reception will follow the service at the church.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Mary’s name to be made to First United Methodist Church of Portland, or a charity of your choice.  To leave condolences for the family, please visit  Arrangements are under the direction and personal care of the professionals at Winsteads’ Funeral Home. (361) 643-6564 


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Lou Nelson, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, February 11, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

Portland, TX

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