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  • a dear one!

    Written Nov 5, 2013 6:31pm by marti mogensen

    Elissa Nelson
    Elissa Marie Mogensen Nelson, July 21, 1976-October 30, 2013, was born in Chicago, raised in Minneapolis, and was living in Portland, Oregon when she died at 37.  She was preceded in death by her father, Charles; by grandparents Martin Mogensen and Catherine Burke Mogensen, and Adolph Nelson and Mary Thomley Nelson, and by special friend Mrs. (Gertrude) Barned.  She is survived by her mother, Margaret, sister Emilyn, a devoted extended family and a multitude of generous and loving friends-who-are-like-family. 
    A writer and teacher, she was a 1994 graduate of Visitation School in Mendota Heights where she was nurtured and celebrated.  She went on to graduate from Bard College and to earn two graduate degrees, an MFA in creative writing from Syracuse University and a masters in education from Brooklyn College.  Her stories and essays were published in magazines, journals and anthologies (from Seventeen when she  was 19, to The Sun and others.) Her two zines--Ethel and Hope--are part of several college zine libraries.  Over recent months, she was editing her first novel.   
    Much as she loved writing, Elissa was a born teacher, with a special interest in both talented high-achieving students and in those struggling.  She spent hours trying to find just the right book to entice a reader and was delighted when she intervened with a judge on one student's behalf and he was given a second chance.   She taught creative writing to children while in grad school at Syracuse, then returned to New York City where she was a New York Teaching Fellow.  In 2008 she settled in Portland, loving the city, her Woodlawn neighborhood, and especially the Oregon Coast.  Her illness forced her to take permanent disability from teaching in May, 2012, but she continued writing, participating in the Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple community, and spending time with her friends, many of whom go back to Bard.
    She was in hospice for the past six months, tenderly cared for by her sister Emilyn who moved from Seattle to be with her.  Through all of it, from the brain tumor diagnosis in 2002 to her death, Elissa was inspiring in her grace, courage and indomitable spirit.  A few weeks ago, she told her mother, "I don't think I have much road left . . . but I'm going to do the very best with what I have."
    Services will be held at Heart of Wisdom, 6401 NE 10th Ave, in Portland on Friday, Nov 8, with visitation beginning at 3 p.m and the service at 4.  A second service will be held at Lakeview Cemetery in Eau Claire, Wisconsin on Saturday, December 7 beginning at noon; a reception will follow from 1-4 p.m. at Mona Lisa restaurant.  Her family plans a celebration next spring at Cape Meares on Elissa's beloved Oregon Coast. 
    For those wishing to make a memorial contribution in Elissa's memory, the family respectfully suggests either the Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple (address above), or The Martin T. Mogensen Education Lecture and Scholarship at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (Foundation@uwec.edu)  Named for Elissa's grandfather, it celebrates Elissa and all teachers.   

    love forever & always
  • Memorial Gifts in Elissa's Name

    Written Nov 4, 2013 6:20pm by Megan Savage

    For those inquiring about memorial gifts in Elissa's memory, we respectfully suggest: 

    *Heart of Wisdom Zen Temple
    Elissa loved this wonderful place, a few blocks from her home, and the people who were so kind on her journey.

    Heart of Wisdom
    6401 NE 10th Ave
    Portland OR 97211

    *The Martin T. Mogensen Education Lecture and Scholarship named for Elissa's grandfather and celebrating her and all teachers.

    University of Wisconsin Eau Claire Foundation
    105 Garfield Ave, Box 4004
    Eau Claire, WI 54702-4004

  • Elissa's Midwest Memorial

    Written Nov 4, 2013 6:15pm by Megan Savage

    For those interested in Elissa's Midwest Memorial, here are the details:

    Saturday Dec 7 in Eau Claire Wisconsin
    • Noon Chapel service and burial at Lakeview Cemetery
    • Lunch at Mona Lisa restaurant 1-4 p.m.

    Some of Elissa's high school friends may also be planning a related event in Minneapolis, and I will be happy to post any information related to that event as well.

    Again, Elissa's Portland service will be held 
    Friday Nov 8. 4 pm Heart of Wisdom Zen Center in Portland.

    Please pass this information along to anyone who should know.

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Providence Portland Medical Center
4805 NE Glisan St.
Portland, OR 97213
United States