We are saddened to announce the death of Meredith Osler (MO) Nelson, father of the Venerable Dr. Deborah Kraft, Thunder Bay-North Shore Deanery, on October 1, 2021.  The full obituary for MO is below.

We uphold the Nelson family in prayer as they prepare to celebrate a life well-lived yet mourn the loss of this dear soul who touched so many lives.


NELSON                    July 23, 1921 – October 1, 2021

Meredith Osler (MO) Nelson, the father of Deborah Kraft, passed away on October 1, 2021 in the hospice at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Thunder Bay with loving family at his side.  MO was descended from pioneers who came to British North America in the early 1600’s.  He met the love of his life Shirley when he was 17 and Shirley was 15 years old.  Shirley became a nurse, and MO went to Kettering University and earned a degree in Industrial Engineering.  His education was interrupted by his service in the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II.  In 1950 he began working for Kimberly Clark Corporation and he was transferred throughout his 35 year career 10 times, including living in Terrace Bay Ontario, Paris France and Kent England.  MO retired as Group President of Newsprint, Pulp and Forest Products for all of North America, with 6000 personnel.  He was passionate about the safety, welfare, involvement and dignity of employees.  He went to work early to make the coffee, abolished special parking, and called everyone by name.  Under his leadership, mill and woodland accidents were drastically reduced.

MO and Shirley retired to Thunder Bay in 1984 where he got involved in the community.  He was a Director of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra, a Paul Harris Fellow and member of the Rotary Club of Port Arthur, a member of Branch 5, Royal Canadian Legion, and on the executive of the Naval Officers’ Association.  In 2006, the Shirley H. and Meredith O. Nelson Fund was started through the Thunder Bay Community Foundation.

During retirement, MO and Shirley enjoyed their family in Thunder Bay, Ottawa, and Coquitlam.  They spent several years at their condo at Clearwater Beach Florida and travelled on world-wide cruises and tours. MO wrote a series of books about his life titled Make Ready, Do, and Put Away.

MO was a devout man of faith and an ecumenical Christian as he worshipped in United, Anglican, Methodist and Presbyterian churches throughout the many moves.  In Thunder Bay, he was a member of both St. Paul’s United Church and St. Paul’s Anglican Church.  At St. Paul’s United, he particularly enjoyed the Fellowship Club and he was Chair of the Board of Trustees for many years as well as a representative to Presbytery.

He loved summer and spent a lot of it at the Kraft Cottage on One Island Lake where even when he turned 100, he still took his great-grandchildren out fishing on his Boston Whaler.  MO loved the great outdoors and went fly-fishing in Iceland, Newfoundland, and northern Ontario.  He enjoyed Tuesday coffee at Arbys where affairs of the world were discussed, and coffee in the Towers Club at Waverley Park Towers.

MO was pre-deceased by his beloved love of his life Shirley Hope in 2007, his granddaughter Julia in 2013 and his daughter-in-law Penny in 2015.

He will be forever and greatly missed by his 3 children Rob (Joanne) of Ottawa, Paul (Pauline) of Vancouver, and Deborah (Jouni) of Thunder Bay.  His 9 grandchildren (Meredith, Gregor, Gordon, Martha, Tristane, John, Paul, Laura and Thomas) and his 21 great-grandchildren (William, Patrick, Charlotte, Amelie, Julian, Audrey, Tessie, Isaac, Julia, James, Luke, Grace, William, Clara, Daphne, Marcus, Scarlett, Aleksander, Elli, Eevi and Oliver) will always treasure the many lessons he lived.

Our 100 year old Family Patriarch leaves a huge legacy of service, commitment, faith, and generosity.   His funeral service will be on Monday, November 8 in St. Paul’s United Church, with a visitation on Sunday, November 7 at Everest Waverley from 2 – 4 pm and prayers led by Deborah at 3:30 pm.

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”         2 Timothy 4:7