PORTAGE LAKE — Joanne B. Nelson, 77, passed away peacefully April 12, surrounded by family.

Known to many as “Ma,” “Granny,” or “Gran,” she was born July 11, 1939, in Lewiston. Joanne spent her earlier years in Lisbon Center. During that time she enjoyed teaching Sunday school and was a professional seamstress and a longtime foster mom.

“Ma,” as a lot of neighborhood children often called her, always opened her home to them. Gran was always one to see the true heart of someone whom others thought wasn’t worth the time of day. After she moved to Portage Lake in the 1970s, you may have seen her working side by side with her sons in the family roofing and siding business.

A few of her hobbies included gardening, baking and reading, and she served on the Ashland school board for many years.

Joanne is survived by her two daughters, Amy Collins and husband, Jim, of Portage Lake, and Katina Lavertu of Ocala, Fla.; two sons, Garry Nelson and wife, Debbie, of Mapleton and Otis Nelson and wife, Ginger, of Portage Lake; daughter-in-law, Nancy Reardon of Mount Holly, N.J.; 13 grandchildren, Natasha (Nelson) Turner, Robert Nelson III, Jacob Nelson, Serena (Collins) Bonville, James Collins Jr., Alicia Collins-Howes, Garry Nelson Jr., Isaac Nelson, Robert Lavertu, Autumn Lavertu, Otis Nelson Jr., Kassandra Nelson, and Samantha Nelson; 14 great-grandchildren; and nine siblings.

In addition to her parents, former husband, and significant other, Joanne was predeceased by her son Robert I. Nelson II, and her brother, Fred Smith.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.duncan-graves.com.

Joanne B. Nelson

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