Photography

Lorraine M. Neilson

March 15, 2020

Obituary

LORRAINE MAASS NEILSON

1928 - 2020

Lorraine Neilson died peacefully March 15th, 2020 as a resident of The Avalon Assisted Living in Bridgewater, NJ.

Born in Passaic, New Jersey in 1928 to Harold Maass and Isabel Cannon Maass, Lorraine was a graduate of The Dwight School for Girls (1946) and graduated from Elmira College (1950) with a double major in Economics and Fine Arts. After graduation she was employed as a window dresser at Hayne & Company Department Store in Montclair, NJ while also employed as a writer for the Herald-News of Passaic and Clifton. As a feminist she challenged the Bernards Township Board of Education to grant equal access for female elementary school students to be permitted to take percussion and drum lessons in the public schools. In 1967 the BOE agreed and permitted female students to participate in the percussion and drumming music curriculum. Never one to sit around the house; Lorraine was a Girl Scout leader, a member of the Garden Club – beautifying Basking Ridge, a stringer on the local Bernardsville newspaper and a golfer. In the 1970s she opened and operated a gift boutique in Lyons and was later employed by AT&T as an executive secretary for the international division.  Throughout her life Lorraine exercised her artistic talent in different areas; journalism in Bernards Township, NJ, oil painting in Naples, FL and yoga in Charlottesville, VA. Lorraine and her former husband, Harold Neilson, of 28 years, raised three children, Patricia Crescenzi, Colleen Manion and Jim Neilson. Lorraine was preceded in death by her loving sister Audrey Lewis.  Lorraine is survived by her 3 children, her daughter in law Jeanne Pfaff-Neilson, son in law Dennis M. Manion, 6 grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.      

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