Duncan Morse Nelson

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Duncan Morse Nelson

May 08, 1930 - December 20, 2018

Duncan Morse Nelson Gloucester - Duncan Morse Nelson of 115 Leonard Street, Gloucester, died on December 20.
Husband of Beatrice Kipp Nelson, father of Peter and Evan; and from his first marriage to Jean Richmond Parsons (dec.) Rowena, Lee, Perry, Burr (dec.), Eroica, and Skye. Brother of Elizabeth Burr Abetti (dec.), W. Evan Nelson, and George Anthony Nelson. Duncan is survived by 20 grandchildren.
Duncan was born in Durham, NC, lived for many years in Massachusetts, and was Professor of English at several universities, including 49 years at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, where he was Poet Laureate.
He delighted in writing and reciting poems for occasions – some several thousand, many of which celebrate his friends and family in Annisquam and Gloucester, and many of which will be donated to the UMB archives.
Duncan’s burial will be private; a Memorial Service will be held in June. Donations may be made in Duncan’s memory to the Duncan Nelson Butterfly Fund at UMass Boston and sent to UMass Boston, University Advancement, 100 Morrissey Boulevard, Boston, MA 02125-3393 or online at www.umb.edu/NelsonFund. For online condolences and register book please visit www.pikenewhall.com.

The Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St. Gloucester is assisting the family with arrangements.
Published on January 10, 2019
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5 posts

Harry Kirsch
Mar 13, 2019
I remember fondly the many tennis matches Duncan and I played as both partners and opponents. His tennis poems are truly memorable.
Shaun Curran
Mar 12, 2019
It was an honor to be in Professor Nelson's class at UMB in 2002-2003. More than anyone, he was the biggest influence on me becoming a professor. He taught me so much about life, literature, and how we can focus so much on the minuscule, we lose sight of what is truly important...
Gary miller
Feb 13, 2019
It was a joy to be in Duncan's class at UMass Boston, l often think of him, l attended his class in 2004 at the (my) age of 60. He was such a cool guy, fun to be around and so full of life.
Lara Catone
Jan 12, 2019
Duncan was my professor at UMass 2000-2001 and we stayed in touch for years after. He was a person that shaped my life in more ways than I can recount. His class and his embodiment of transformative education opened my seeing, thinking and writing to new territory that I can continue to explore. Bless his life and his transition.
Rebecca Aliberte
Jan 10, 2019
I have had the pleasure of listening to Duncan's on the spot creative writings at retreats. What an amazing, creative mind and gentle soul. Aways so full of life and joy. My deepest condolences go out to his family and the many friends who have had the honor of meeting him over the years.