Official Obituary of

Andrew P. Nelson

July 22, 2023
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Andrew Nelson Obituary

Andrew (Andy) Phillips Nelson, Ph.D., passed away peacefully at home on July 22, 2023, aged 86, following the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

 He was respected as a teacher of botany, in particular, local plant ecology, and was a valued mentor to many students. Having graduated from the School of Environmental Science and Forestry at Syracuse University, he pursued his doctorate at UC Berkeley. He last taught at the State University of Oswego where he also served as Director of Rice Creek Field Station until his retirement in 2007. He was honored in retirement for helping to establish the Herbarium at the State University of Oswego.

Andy was the son of George Merle (Sandy) and Esther Phillips Nelson of Wolcott, NY. He enjoyed the many reunions of his high school class. He is survived by two daughters, Deborah Mashibini-Prior and Carya Hickey. His grandchildren Kai Nelson, Natasha Bordeaux, Zinziswa Mashibini, and great-grandson Coleman Mashibini were very special to him. His immediate family includes his sister Barbara and brother-in-law David Griffin, and their daughters Laureen, Kathleen (Katie), and Karen who were dear friends of Andy. He was also very close to his cousins, the Younglove family, including his cousin Gail and her family, and Sharon Younglove, and her son March.
Andy’s wife Mary Anne was his close friend, companion, and confidant for 23 years. They were married in 2006 and are known by all as a dedicated, loving, and generous couple.

Andy was a member of the NY State Flora Society, Sigma Xi, the Oswego Branch of AAUW, the Riverside Cemetery Board, the Friends of Rice Creek Field Station, the Sterling Nature Center, and the H. Lee White Maritime Museum. He leaves many friends as well as family to honor his love of nature. 

The Dowdle Funeral Home, 154 East 4th Street, Oswego NY, 13126 is handling final arrangements. His body will be donated to Upstate Medical Center. 

Contributions in his name can be made online to the Parkinson’s

Foundation, to Rice Creek Field Station at 193 Thompson Road, Oswego NY 13126, and be sure to stop by to say thank you to the people at the Oswego Fire Department who were so supportive. It would
also be appropriate to share any one act of kindness to a stranger or friend, and to keep Andy in mind as you do.


A celebration of life for Andrew Nelson will be held on Saturday, October 28, 2023, from Noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Rice Creek Field Station, 193 Thompson Road, Oswego, NY 13126. Potluck lunch from Noon to 1:30 p.m. We will have desserts and beverages.

If you are able, please bring a dish to share. A short program from 1:30 to 2:30 will follow lunch.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Andrew P. Nelson, please visit our floral store.

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