Cover photo for Dorothy Kay Nelson's Obituary
Dorothy Kay Nelson Profile Photo

Dorothy Kay Nelson

August 1, 1935 — June 2, 2021

Dorothy Kay Nelson

With the same grace that defined her life, Dorothy “Kay” Nelson left us on June 2nd, 2021, after a week of tender moments and goodbyes. She spent her last days soaking in every minute she could with the family she held so dear, making them cry and laugh often at the same time.

Born in Brigham City, Utah to Dorothy and Wilson “Bud” Jensen, Kay grew up helping to raise her younger siblings while her parents tended the family store. She was a great beauty and was often found surrounded by friends.
Kay met her soul mate young and their incredible love story spanned the globe and the ages. With the threat of a draft notice looming, Kay and Jearold Nelson married in 1953 when she was still in high school. They were constant companions, caring and sustaining each other through all of life’s pleasures and trials. Teasing each other was their love language, which they kept up to her last days.

Kay and Jerry raised their four children in Perry, Utah and in foreign lands including Japan and Germany, which was both a challenge and a great adventure. Her children were her greatest pride and she never ceased worrying about their well-being. She was a tenacious defender of family and proved to be a pillar of support for her children in their most heartbreaking moments and greatest accomplishments. Unconditional love, forgiveness, and solutions were always available. Kay loved her family fiercely.

She had a unique relationship with each grandchild, making sure she knew the goings on of each of their lives and spreading the highlights to the rest of the family like a human newsletter. Grandma was there for every big occasion and sent a card for every birthday. She spent half the year prodding for information and searching for the perfect Christmas gift for each grandchild.

Every great-grandchild announcement was met with delight and Kay always wished for more. A visit to grandma’s always ended with lipstick marks from the kisses showered upon cheeks and foreheads.

Kay was a consummate host and loved to gather people – whether it was just to talk, to eat, or to “wear out the carpet dancing.” She made great memories skiing, golfing, floating the river in Island Park, and soaking up the sun in Bear Lake. She would never pass up a shopping day and ran her own consignment shop in Brigham City. Her fashion sense was iconic, with a popped collar, often wearing white, and the perfect accessories and heels to complete her timeless look.

Although small in stature, she was never the underdog and she carried her wit and stubbornness to the end. Kay’s style and class are unmatched and were untouched by age. Each of us have been shaped in some way by her example, kindness, and care.

Kay is survived by her beloved husband and best friend, Jerry; sister, Shauna Sandersfeld; her children Debbie (Steve) Hansen, Brian (Heidi) Nelson, David (Cindi) Nelson, Kendall (Kaylynn) Nelson; 17 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren.
She is having a wonderful reunion with those who preceded her in death: her parents, Dorothy and Bud; brothers Lynn, Phil, and Billy Jensen.
Two special nurses helped care for Kay as she prepared to leave us. Her granddaughter, Brandi was truly exceptional by her side day and night, and her “adopted” granddaughter Korie from Atlas Homecare and Hospice was wonderful. Our family is so thankful for their tender service.

A viewing for family and friends will be held Wednesday June 9th, 2021 at the Riverdale Stake Center located at 4000 Parker Drive, Riverdale Utah, 84405 from 6pm to 8pm and at 10am on Thursday June 10th. Funeral services will immediately follow at 11am. Interment will take place at the Brigham City Cemetery.


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

Past Services


Wednesday, June 9, 2021

6:00 - 8:00pm (Mountain time)

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Funeral Service

Thursday, June 10, 2021

Starts at 11:00am (Mountain time)

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