Anne McKelvey Nelson

November 14, 1948-September 30, 2023


Dr. Anne Elizabeth Nelson passed away at her home in Manchester, Washington, on September 30, 2023, surrounded by her children and holding the hand of her husband of 50 years.

Anne “Libby” McKelvey was born November 14, 1948, in Detroit, Michigan, to James and Barbara McKelvey. She graduated from Huron High School (Ohio) in 1966 and went on to earn a Nursing degree from the Toledo School of Nursing.

During the Vietnam War, Anne served as a psychiatric nurse in the United States Navy in Oakland, CA. It was there that she met and subsequently married Dr. Ralph Nelson of Danvers, Massachusetts, in 1973. The Navy took them from Oakland, CA, to Bremerton, WA, Los Angeles, CA, and Norfolk, VA, before settling in Palos Verdes Estates, CA, in 1978.

Always an advocate for children, mental health, and inclusion, she was active in Girl Scouts and the PTA. Anne worked at the Kitsap County Council for Youth, was President of the Palos Verdes Cooperative Nursery School, and pioneered Multicultural Day and Project Self Esteem in the Palos Verdes School District. During her doctoral studies at the California School of Professional Psychology (Antioch University), Anne worked with youth at a homeless shelter in Los Angeles, and was an active mental health therapist at Whittier College and the Airport Marina Counseling Center. She later stepped into the director position at Community Helpline, a confidential crisis, referral, and support hotline for those with emotional support needs. After returning to Washington state in 2004, she continued to serve her community as a Hospice volunteer until her own death.

Anne was the bedrock to three generations. Her greatest joy was celebrating her family and friends. She was “Aunt Libby” to many, simply “Libby” to four brothers, “Mom” to her 3 children and “Nana” to 11 grandchildren. Her ability to genuinely connect with people and bring them together was felt by all. She is survived by her beloved husband Ralph, daughters Jennifer and Elizabeth, son Christopher and grandchildren Samantha, Matthew, Joshua, Helen, Davia, Jacob, Miah, Phineas, Finley, Wyatt and Travis along with her brothers Jim, Tim, Mark and Paul and their extended families.

Her life will be celebrated from 2-5 PM on November 18, 2023 at the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, WA. Though fond of sending them herself, we are certain Anne would prefer donations to charity in lieu of flowers. These organizations held a special place in Anne’s heart:

Bayside Housing and Services in Port Hadlock, WA (https://

Recovery Cafe in Port Townsend, WA (