Garth R. Nelson

Garth R. Nelson

Garth R. Nelson

HANOVER, MASS. — Garth Robert Nelson of Hanover, Mass. passed away unexpectedly on July 10, 2013.

Garth’s devotion to his family and friends and his remarkable contributions to youth development were the cornerstones of his life. A graduate of Winchester High School and the engineering program at Cornell University, Garth spent childhood and college summers at Camp Wyanoke and hiking the White Mountains with close friends, especially Mike Freeland, with whom his friendship spanned more than 50 years. Garth’s love of camp developed into a career in camping, culminating in 25 years as camp director of Camp Agawam in Raymond, and executive director of Agawam Council. One of Garth’s greatest gifts and greatest pleasures was mentoring campers from all walks of life. Garth’s achievement in the field of camping was honored by the Maine Youth Camping Foundation with the Halsey Gulick Award in 2011.

Come any soccer season, you could always find Garth coaching a team somewhere. He spent 32 seasons as the girls’ varsity soccer coach at Hanover High School, earning two state championships and numerous other titles and league championships. He was one of the founding coaches of Hanover Youth Soccer, and enjoyed many seasons coaching town and club teams.

With a keen intellect, quick wit, patient demeanor, and gentle spirit, Garth was exceptional in his roles as steady and loving husband, amazing dad, wonderful Gramps, best friend, and devoted coach and counselor. Guiding kids and celebrating their successes, big and small, was the joy of his life!

He is survived by his wife Barbara Nelson; daughter Meredith Mormile; a grandson; and three nieces.

He was preceded in death by his mother Lorraine Godfrey and her husband Walter Godfrey.

Visiting hours at the Sullivan Funeral Home, 551 Washington Street, Route 53 in Hanover, Mass. will be Saturday from 4 to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 2 to 5 p.m. A funeral service will be on Monday at 11 a.m. at the First Congregational Church of Hanover, 547 Hanover Street. For directions and the online guest book, please visit

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: The American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 1909, Framingham, MA 01701 or The Main Idea at Camp Agawam, Agawam Council (ref. Garth Nelson/Main Idea), 54 Agawam Road, Raymond ME 04071.

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