Mary Joan Nelson, 83, of Indianapolis, died June 7, 2021 at Brookdale Robin Run Health Center in Indianapolis.

Mary Jo was born Feb. 27,1938 in Lebanon, the eldest child of Byron and Hilda Blubaugh. She graduated from Lebanon High School in 1956 and received her B.S. in Education from Ball State Teachers College, and her master’s degree from Butler University.

In 1960, at Central Christian Church, she married Wesley O. Nelson, who died in 1978.

Mary Jo taught English for 3 years at Lebanon Jr. Sr. High school, and then served as their first guidance counselor for 5 years.

She worked for Boone County Senior Services as their volunteer coordinator establishing the “friendly visitor” program in 1979.  She also served as their interim director of the senior center in 1983.

She then decided to change careers and received a master’s degree from Butler and Christian Theological Seminary in Personality Theory and Religion.  She went into private practice as a pastoral marriage and family therapist opening, with her two partners, Horizons Counseling Center at Holy Name Christian Church in Beech Grove in 1988.  The center merged with Southport Presbyterian Church’s center in 2002, where she retired in 2005.

Mary Jo was a member of Central Christian Church, where she served as President of both the Christian Women’s Fellowship and the church’s board of directors.

She was also a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority, Psi Iota Xi, and Theos Chapter of Zionsville, where she served as their chapter leader.

Mary Jo enjoyed traveling and went to the Holy Land and Egypt, Western Europe, England, Scotland and Wales, as well as, several cities and states across the U.S.

She is survived by her daughter, Mary Ann Nelson of Indianapolis.  A brother, Robert Blubaugh of Lebanon, and a sister, Nancy Richardson, of Jamestown, as well as, 10 nieces and nephews and several great nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Friday, June 11, in the Strawmyer & Drury Mortuary, 2400 N. Lebanon Steet, Lebanon. Services will follow at 3 p.m. with burial at Oak Hill Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Boone County Senior Services Foundation, Inc., 515 CrownPointe Dr. in Lebanon.


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