Nerissa June (Lehmer) Kelso

Jun 22 1929
Nov 13 2023
94 Years
Stewartstown, Pennsylvania

Nerissa June (Lehmer) Kelso, passed away peacefully at home in southern York County, surrounded by loving family, on November 13, 2023, at the age of 94. She was born in Harrisburg, PA in 1929 to Earl L. Lehmer and Beatrice I. Reeser, and she grew up in Lemoyne, on the opposite side of the Susquehanna River. Both sides of her family had deep roots in York County, so when she moved into a York County farmhouse with her son and daughter-in-law earlier in 2023, she was “back home”. She was the widow of Raymond “Ray” Kelso.

As a teenager, “Dolly,” as she was known to friends and family, was a frequent attendee (with her sister Portia) of Camp Penn at Old Forge, part of the Evangelical United Brethren Church. She once appeared in a cute cartoon in The Anvil, the camp newsletter, and was noted as a wonderful singer. She also loved to play the piano and her electric organ.

Upon graduation from Lemoyne High School in 1947, Nerissa entered the nursing class at the Polyclinic Hospital in Harrisburg. With her classmates, she traveled to Coatesville in 1949 to study psychiatric nursing at the Veterans Administration hospital. One of her classmates was a girl named Betty, who was dating Ray’s friend Harold Barnes. The couple set Ray and Nerissa up on a blind date, they soon fell in love, and were quickly engaged so that they could marry before Ray shipped off to Korea for a second volunteer Army tour of duty in 1950. They married at the Episcopal Church of the Trinity in Coatesville, and celebrated a wonderful 70-Year Anniversary in August of 2020.

With her RN degree in hand, newlywed Nerissa began a rewarding career as a private duty nurse in the Philadelphia area, where Ray worked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard.

In 1963 Ray and Nerissa built their home in Martin's Corner, West Caln Township, raised their family, and enjoyed wonderful neighbors. They had many gardens, including a food garden with peanuts and popcorn, and flower gardens with marigolds, columbine, and tulips. Nerissa performed in many PTA plays at King’s Highway Elementary School in the early 1970s which were written and directed by beloved First Grade teacher John Taylor. She was employed by the Hibernia United Methodist Church in the nursery school program for more than 10 years in the 1970s and ‘80s, and absolutely loved every minute of it.

She looked forward to annual Reeser and Lehmer family reunions in Lemoyne with parents, sister, grandchildren, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins, and eventually embarked on her own extensive family history project, which included many interviews with family members and culminated in her writing and publishing a hardcover book about her mother’s side of the family, entitled Myers-Reeser: A Story of Two Families, in 1998 – this is a cherished gift that she gave to ours and many future generations.

Ray and Nerissa shared a love of nature, animals, and local history, and both were involved with the Friends of Hibernia and with the organization of the West Caln Historical Society, assisting with the creation of the book History of West Caln Township: 1744 – 1994. They also enjoyed many long RV trips around the country with their dog Heidi, as well as several European vacations. They especially loved babysitting for their grandchildren, Neal and Sarah Kelso, taking them to many parks, museums and zoos, and passing on to them their love of learning.

In recent years, Nerissa lived with her son Fred and daughter-in-law Becky (Neal) Kelso, and enjoyed spending time with Neal and Sarah.

Funeral services will be held on Monday, November 20, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the Wilde Funeral Home, 434 Main St. Parkesburg, PA with visitation from 10:00 AM to 11:00 AM. Interment will follow at the Fairview Cemetery in Coatesville, PA. 

Online condolences can be posted at 

Service Date: 
Nov 20 2023 - 11:00am
Service Location: 
Wilde Funeral Home


Dear Kelso Family,

Just want to send my love to you all and let you know how appreciate you are.  


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Fred, sorry to hear of your mothers passing, prayers to you and your family

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Fred and family, 

Our deepest condolences to you and your family during this difficult time.  Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist.  

With our thoughts and prayers, 

The PEO C3T and C5ISR Team, Aberdeen Proving Ground, MD

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To Fred and Becky, you have our deepest sympathy in your Mom's passing, I will always remember the great conversations riding back with them from Penn State.

They were always nice to everyone, they will both be greatly missed!

John & Lisa Przychodzien

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lMy deepest sympathy and prayers for your family.Lisa Schul




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Fred I am so sorry to hear of your Mothers passing. She was a beautiful and kind lady. This memorial written for her tells the story of HER as she lived her life. God Bless all of you as you mourn. 

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To my wonderful mother. I know we sometimes butted heads but I learned alot from you. You were a great influence on my life . Thank you for adopting me. I will miss you. I love you mama

Your daughter Terri

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