Peter E. Nelsen, Organist

STRATFORD—Peter E. Nelsen of Stratford passed away peacefully on Tuesday, August 6, surrounded by his loving family at the age of 72.

An accomplished musician and singer, “Pete” served for 58 years as the only organist at his beloved St. Mark Church. He taught music at St. Marks school, and was director of both the adult and children’s choir.

Gifted from youth with musical talent and a beautiful voice, he was conscripted to play at a funeral at St. James Church at the age of 14, when the regular organist was unavailable. Shortly after that he became the first organist at St. Mark Parish, which was formed out of St. James and founded in 1960.

Over the years he played at the weddings and funerals of St. Mark’s parishioners and his own funeral became a celebration of his life when many area musicians gathered to play before the Mass.

Born October 28, 1946, he was a loving son to Anne Klesper. He was a graduate of St. James School, Bunnell High school, and studied at The Liturgical School of music in N.Y. A lifelong resident of Stratford, he was also a proud U.S. Army Veteran.

Pete was very involved in the Town of Stratford as a realtor, past president of the exchange club, commissioner of the inland wetlands committee, and musician who brought Christmas songs to Lord Chamberlain during the holidays.

Mr. Nelsen is survived by his beloved, devoted and loving wife of 35 years Mimi and 4 amazing children, Christopher and Kathleen Berarducci of Little Silver, N.J., Kasey and Michael Wendland of Stratford, Matthew and Jenna Nelsen of Stratford and Katherine and Andrew Voytek of Stratford. He was the Poppi to his cherished grandchildren, Owen, Declan, Axel, Jack and his “Gracie Girl.”

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on August 10th at St. Mark Church in Stratford. Interment with full military honors followed at St. John’s Cemetery, Stratford.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Pete’s memory to St. Mark Church.

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