Katherine 'Kerry' MacEachern Nelson

Katherine “Kerry” MacEachern Nelson, 82, of Hillsborough, passed away on December 30, 2020 from complications of COVID-19 after a bout of Dementia.  

Born in White Plains, N.Y., and raised in Hartsdale, N.Y., she was a daughter of the late Donald Francis MacEachern and Augusta Vibberts Parsons MacEachern. Katherine studied studio art, art history, and art education.  She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from Oberlin College and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Yale University. She was a resident of Chapel Hill and Hillsborough from 1970 until her death. She was a member of St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Hillsborough.

Katherine was deeply involved with the local arts community and expressed her creativity through pottery, painting, knitting, sewing, quilting, and costume design.  She taught pottery and volunteered in Chapel Hill-Carrboro public schools.  She was involved with the Durham Art Guild, the Orange County Arts Commission and designed costumes for Durham Savoyards productions. Katherine shared her love of art and teaching as a docent at the Ackland Art Museum and North Carolina Museum of Art.  She was a former president of the Durham-Orange Quilters Guild and a founding member of the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts. She cherished her friendships in the arts community. She also loved gardening, pets, swimming, story telling, bird watching, and socializing. She was good humored and readily shared warm-hearted laughs with many. She often designed and hand made her colorful attire. She called her business, “A Designing Woman.” In her retirement, she loved to travel and made trips to Sweden, Greece, the Danube and the Galapagos Islands.

Throughout her life, she treasured time spent with her large tight-knit extended family at the family homestead Parrish Hill in Scotland, Connecticut. She was affectionately known to her family as Kerry. Even as her memory faded, she held onto long-standing memories of her extended family and the farm in Connecticut. She enjoyed exploring her deep New England roots and Scottish ancestry.  

The family is very grateful for her compassionate caregivers at Charles House Yorktown in Chapel Hill and, more recently, at Brookshire/Peak Resources in Hillsborough. She was preceded in death by her sister Barbara MacEachern of Middletown, CT, and her parents. She is survived by her daughter Margery Nelson Price of Rougemont; daughter Diana Nelson Parris of Phoenix, AZ; former husband Donald Nelson of Winston-Salem; her eldest grandson, Malcolm Price of Carrboro, and two younger grandsons; nephew Alexander Horn of Durham; niece Victoria Horn of Hoboken, NJ; and beloved cousins and their families. 

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Katherine’s memory to Charles House Association, 7511 Sunrise Road, Chapel Hill, NC 27514 or Memorial contributions can also be made in her name to arts organizations.