Nannette Nelson Benson-Nicol, 70, of Doylestown Borough, Bucks County, PA, died peacefully in her home on June 4th, 2018.
The descendant of a prominent African-American family with roots in Doylestown from the mid-1800’s, Nannette was the daughter of the late Randall Y. Nelson and Gladys (née Nickleby) Nelson. She is survived by her pride and joy, her daughter, the Reverend Nancy J. Benson-Nicol of Austin, TX; her twin sister and partner-in-mischief, Nancy A. Nelson of Doylestown, and her dear sister, Gene Nelson Herndon of Burke, VA, as well as her many treasured cousins and friends. Nannette and her sisters were the first to integrate the Fanny Chapman Swimming Pool and other cultural institutions of Doylestown.
Nannette graduated from Central Bucks High School (now C.B. West) in 1966, and from the Lansdale School of Business in 1968. During a brief stint in Washington, D.C. in the early ‘70’s, she served as the administrative assistant to the regional president of the YMCA of the Mid-Atlantic. While in D.C., Nannette met Louis Benson-Nicol, Jr., of Monrovia, Liberia, whom she wed in 1974. She returned to her childhood home of Doylestown in 1975 to live with her sister, Nancy, and their mother, Gladys, after swiftly divorcing Louis to escape his physically and emotionally abuse nature, and to subsequently rear her daughter in a circle of security and love. In Doylestown, her career as an administrative assistant included over eight years of service with the law offices of Eastburn & Gray, and over 18 years with the Doylestown Hospital, where she initiated and founded its Diversity Committee.
With a profound and authentic faith in God as revealed through Jesus Christ and breathed through the Holy Spirit, Nannette was elected in 1997 as a Ruling Elder of Doylestown Presbyterian Church, where she was a member for nearly 43 years.
After retirement, Nannette, along with her sister, Nancy, enjoyed volunteering with the Senior Adult Ministry Committee of the Church, as well as with Pearl S. Buck International. As little girls, the two spent many seasons, at Pearl Buck’s invitation, playing on her estate; Pearl herself braided Nannette’s hair after she spent blissfully imaginative summers swimming in her pool, pretending to be a mermaid. Nannette’s warmth, charm, humor, compassion, and intelligence touched all whom she encountered.
A memorial service in witness to the Resurrection will be held at Doylestown Presbyterian Church, with a light reception to follow, on Sunday, June 10th at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, please send memorial contributions to Doylestown Presbyterian Church or to Pearl S. Buck International.
Send condolences to www.varcoethomasfuneralhome.com