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Betty Ann Nelson
June 30, 2023
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Betty Nelson was born on April 26th, 1958 to Ernest Nelson Sr. and Helen Nelson and departed this life June 30th, 2023. The third oldest out of her six siblings, Betty grew up at 1315 Amsterdam Avenue before settling in the Grant Housing Projects at 55 LaSalle Street.
Gifted with a powerful voice, she combined that with learning to play the keyboard and joined the list of her family members equally as gifted in both singing and playing. Her talents lead not only to other musicians she played alongside, but to join a band dubbed FRESH in the early 80’s. The band would travel around the city, performing at various clubs and parties, and spent many a practice session together in Brooklyn, and the occasional studio in Manhattan.
Betty began work in the Parks Department, then as a Toll Clerk until she made her way into the healthcare field, where she started as a Medical Assistant before finding part-time work as a Phlebotomist at Beekman Hospital. She would later move onto becoming a Patient Registrar, her career in healthcare spanning over three decades (and several hospital name changes) until she retired from New York Presbyterian Hospital in lower Manhattan.
Betty’s care for others also extended to the family she built over her working years. She joined 1199 SEIU Healthcare Union as a member, then a Delegate. As a Delegate, she was always seen carrying her union handbook, filled with colored tabs and writing; she made such good use of her book over the years it was the only one she needed. She attended negotiations and whenever possible attended rallies and trips across the Northeast; such was her dedication to the union.
A woman of faith, Betty was a long-time member of Powerhouse St. Luke’s C.O.G.I.C. and lent her voice to the choir, in addition to occasionally playing during service.
Betty is survived by her only daughter, Tia; siblings, Dexter, Cheryl, Blythe, Robert, and Ernest Jr.; along with a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, church family and friends she will be missed by many.