Evelyn “Evie” Louise Nelson, 91, of Manhattan, KS and formerly of McPherson, KS, passed away peacefully on Monday, December 9, 2019, with her family by her side at Stolzer House, Meadowlark Hills, Manhattan, KS. Evelyn loved education and music and began teaching music while living in Phillipsburg, KS at three rural schools; Speed, Stuggart, and Glade. When they moved to Winfield, she began teaching in a Special Education classroom and decided to pursue her Masters in that area. She was a Kindergarten teacher while living in Hutchinson. Evelyn was a special education teacher for McPherson USD 418, professor for ACCK, and Reality Therapy Certified facilitator and trainer. She directed bell choirs at every church they attended and also taught piano and organ. During her lifetime, Evie touched the hearts of so many young lives.
She was born on August 21, 1928, in Solomon, KS, the daughter of Edward and Gertrude (Grant) Eisenhauer. She attended Solomon grade school and graduated from Solomon High School in 1946. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and Sociology from Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, KS in 1950 and Master of Science Degree in Psychology from Emporia State University, Emporia, KS.
Evelyn was united in marriage to Rev. Dr. Harold E. Nelson on July 25, 1948, at the University United Methodist Church in Salina, KS.
She was a member of First United Methodist Church, McPherson, where her husband was pastor for many years. She was also a member of McPherson Teachers Association, Kansas National Education Association, Institute for Reality Therapy, Alpha Delta Kappa, Delta Kappa Gamma, Phi Delta Kappa, Kansas Association for Children with Behavior Disorders, American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, Choristers Guild, Wichita Area Piano Teachers League, and Kansas Music Educators Association. Evelyn was a board member for the McPherson Arts Council and both she and Harold were board members and volunteers for the McPherson Opera House. Her hobbies included art, music, attending her grandchildren’s’ activities, playing ROOK, fishing and collecting Madonnas and bells. She loved to entertain and particularly enjoyed co-hosting (along with Harold) her annual birthday party on the deck at their Colorado cabin, inviting people for watermelon, popcorn, and fellowship.
Evie’s faith and family were extremely important to her. When the children were still at home, they recall their mom having a candlelight dinner every Wednesday evening with the full china place setting before church activities. Some of Evie’s greatest joys were the times spent with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and even in her later years, her face would light up in the presence of a child.
Survivors include: her loving husband of 71 years, Harold Nelson of Manhattan, KS; three children, Sonia Nelson (Jeff Mackey) of Edmonds, WA, Douglas Nelson (Janice) of Bonner Springs, KS, and Anita Wiley (Jack) of Manhattan, KS; five grandchildren, Neil Bergquist (Anna), Kyle Bergquist (Allie), Amber Atchison (Chance), Tyler Klug, and Jillian Nelson; five step-grandchildren, Greg Klug (Sheri), Denet Smith, Kevin Mackey (Lisa), Christy Green (Shane), and Brian Mackey; five great-grandchildren, Karson Stroda, Easton Atchison, Jack Bergquist, Theo Bergquist, and Harrison Atchison; 11 step-great-grandchildren, Erin Mackey, Kirsten Mackey, Lindsey Mackey, Nickolas Mackey, Alyssa Green, Cameron Green, Kaitlyn Green, Joshua Mackey, Jorden Klug, Natasha Klug, and Gage Smith; one step-great-great-granddaughter, Alyssa Klug.
Evelyn and Harold also have two former International students that lived with them for a year, Susi Konigseder from Austria and Gill Gillian from Wales.
She was preceded in death by her parents and eight siblings, Irvin Eisenhauer, Melvin Eisenhauer, Alda Conner, Frank Eisenhauer, Marvin Eisenhauer, Mabel Hill, Irene Farley, and Ray Eiseinhauer.
The family will receive friends from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM, Thursday, December 19, 2019, at First United Methodist Church, McPherson. The funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM, Friday, December 20, at the church with Rev. Emily Spearman Cannon officiating with burial following at McPherson Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to The Harold & Evelyn Eisenhauer Nelson Scholarship Fund at Kansas Wesleyan University or McPherson Opera House Endowment Fund in care of Stockham Family Funeral Home, 205 North Chestnut, McPherson, KS 67460. Personal condolences may be sent to the family at www.stockhamfamily.com.