Shirley Anne Nelson, 88, dies

Columbus, OH — Shirley Anne Nelson, 88, of Truro, Nova Scotia, died Jan. 11, 2021, at Cedarstone Enhanced Care, Truro.

She was born in Linden, Nova Scotia, and grew up in Truro. She was the daughter of the late Burley and Annie (McFadden) Works, and a sister to Hazel Murray (Vernon) and Frank Works (Marion).

She loved to talk about her childhood and especially times in Linden and Pointe de Chene, New Brunswick. She loved her visits with all her family living in those areas.

She graduated from The Business College in Truro and went on to marry her first love Gerald (Gerry) Nelson and later had two beautiful children, Debbie and Stanley. She stayed home to raise her children and went back to work when they were almost teenagers. She spent many years as the insurance adjuster at The Wally Keddy Real Estate Company.

She loved raising her children, following her husband Gerry’s horse racing career, being able to work, spending time at the old cottage on Shortt’s Lake, bowling, and especially being a very active member of The First Unite Church.

Gerry and Shirley moved to California in 1977 to follow Gerry’s love of training and racing the horses. She actually worked in the office of the Joe O’Brien stable the whole time they were with the stable. She developed great friendships with Joe and Ilene O’Brien, Betty and David Harding and all the trainers and grooms. They were a very close knit group traveling all over the U.S. together to all the big tracks.

Shirley and Gerry decided to move on from California to Florida in 1982. This became their new home until they moved back to Nova Scotia in 2017. She worked as office manager for the Archie McNeil stable as well as the Ron Waples stable where Gerry was doing the training and driving. Again she held close friendships with all members of the stable. Once Ronnie moved on, she became the new Clerk of Course at Pompano Park where she stayed until her retirement days.

During their stay in Florida, she stayed right by Gerry’s side again, traveling around to all the tracks in the Northeast U.S.

Her outside interest was being very busy with The United Methodist Church in Margate, Fla. Her faith was a great part of her life.

Prior to Gerry leaving the horses for good they moved back to the area, settling at Shortt’s Lake in Brookfield for the summers. They both enjoyed this time as it gave them an opportunity to catch up with friends and relatives from the past. They became members of the Knox United Church, Brookfield, and could not have asked for a more tight knit community.

When they finally left Florida for good they returned to Truro and spent their last days together at Cedarstone Enhanced Care, Truro. Gerry died on Jan. 11, 2019. She was comforted by visits from family and also the wonderful staff at the facility.

Mrs. Nelson is survived by her daughter, Debbie; daughter-in-law, Beverley; grandchildren, Josh and Tori; brother, Frank (Marion) Works; and the Vernon Murray family. Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Gerry; son, Stan; and sister, Hazel.

No visitation by family request. A graveside service will take place at a later date in Bible Hill Cemetery, 41 Warren Drive, Bible Hill.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Mattatall~Varner Funeral Home, 55 Young St., Truro.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice.

Private messages of condolence may be sent to the family by viewing Shirley’s obituary online and selecting “Send a Condolence” at

Back to Top

Share via