Jeri Irene Howard Nelson, Age 81, of Syracuse, passed away on June 14th, 2016 due to a complication from a long illness. Jeri was born in Kansas City, MO on January 30, 1935. She was the daughter of John Carroll Howard and Gertrude Shrank of Wittenburg Wi. She completed Amendsun High School in Chicago. Her father was a commercial artist who worked for an advertising firm in Chicago. He is the artist of the original V8 vegetable logo. Influenced by her father, Jeri studied art, graduating from Stevens College, Chicago. Upon her graduation she married sculptor Jack Nelson.
Early in her marriage Jeri and became a fashion model in Chicago and New York City. From 1959 to 1961 Jeri & Jack lived in Sweden, where two of their children were born.
Eventually they settled in Syracuse where Jack took the position of professor of Fine Arts at Syracuse University. He was instrumental in developing the "Experimental Studio" at S.U. in the 70s involving multi-media. Jeri worked a part-time position at S.U. as well as Syracuse China, while raising her three children. Following her passion and experience in the fashion world, Jeri started her successful business designing and sewing custom clothing for a wide clientele. Her very distinctive style gave her clothing a quality that was unforgettable.
Jeri's other love was her children and family. Her 42 years of marriage ended when Jack passed in1997. She eventually took companionship with sculptor Roger Mack of Syracuse University. They enjoyed world traveling together until his illness and passing. Jeri was a nurturing caregiver to both her husband and Mack in their illness. Later she partnered with Russ Cooper, and in her time of need after suffering from an initial stroke, which ended her dressmaking career, Cooper cared for her until her passing in June. Jeri was a compassionate, gracious, and grand lady who never complained. She was loved by all who knew her.
Jeri is survived by her children Timothy Nelson and wife Anita of Seattle Washington, Jeffry Nelson and wife Rosina of Newark, NJ, and Jessica A Nelson of Canastota, NY, and partner, David Barrow Carruth; her brother, John R. Howard and wife Lynne of Chicago, sister Carol Lynn Howard of Colorado; grandchildren, Walker Nelson, Andrea Nelson; nephew, John Gentry Howard and niece Kelly Lynne Howard; and grand nephews and nieces, Dylan and Rowan Myers, and Molly and Grant Howard. She was pre-deceased by her parents, her husband, Jack, and first born son, John Gentry Nelson.
A memorial to celebrate Jeri's life will be held at her home in Syracuse, NY on Saturday, July 9, from 12:00 - 4:00 pm at 118 Hatherly Road, Syracuse, NY. 13224. She requested Cremation.
Memorial Donations may be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.