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Obituary: Barbara Boston Nelson '62

Barbara Ann Boston Nelson passed away on January 3, 2012 at Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, surrounded by her loving family. She faced her death with the same courage, grace, elegance and dignity in which she lived her life.

Born in Evanston, Illinois in 1939, she and her brother Robert were the children of Elizabeth and John Robert Boston. As a young girl, Barbara moved to Fayetteville, Arkansas, and later attended Antioch College in Ohio. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master's Degree in Speech and Drama from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois and a Master's Degree in Special Education from Dominican University in San Rafael. She taught English and Drama among other subjects serving on the faculty of the Chicago Teachers College, Menlo College and the Dominican University. She later attended JFK University and received a Master's in Clinical Psychology on her way to becoming a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Barbara enjoyed and maintained a private practice in Danville, Pacific Grove, and Monterey, CA, for nearly 25 years, until she retired in 2008.

Barbara was a passionate student of Jungian Psychology. She pursued formal studies at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara and with the Sandplay Therapists of America (STA). In recent years, she was part of a Jungian study group with therapist colleagues. Barbara was an active clinical teaching member of STA and the International Society for Sandplay Therapy. She was also a valued member of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Barbara's contributions to the community were many. She was philanthropic in her energies and spirit with a keen eye for supporting various community and non-profit projects. She was instrumental in bringing training in Jungian-based Sandplay Therapy to local therapists and donated much of her personal Sandplay miniatures collection to the Kinship Center in Salinas. Barbara participated regularly, over many years, in a dynamic book group and in a memoirs writing group. As an enthusiastic member of the Casa Abrego Club in Monterey, Barbara often gave book presentations and initiated a reader's theater group which continues today. In addition, Barbara was an accomplished artist, particularly with beautiful collage and shadowbox creations, true delights to her family, friends, and colleagues. Many of these have been displayed in various art exhibits to support local causes. 

In 1970 Barbara married Robert Nelson and enjoyed 42 wonderful years sharing a life filled with raising five children, travelling, embracing friends, and hosting family gatherings at their home in Maui. Barbara is survived by her husband, Bob, their 5 children (Susan Clancey, John Nelson, Ellen Kennard, Melissa Nelson, Rebecca Heiser) and 12 grandchildren (Andrew Clancey, Peter Clancey, George Nelson, Jack Nelson, Joseph Nelson, David Nelson, Kaitlin Kennard, Christopher Kennard, Kennah Brenneman, Elizabeth Brenneman, Eliana Heiser, and Ginevra Heiser).

Barbara was deeply grateful to the Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary and the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula for their exceptional and personalized care. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to:

The Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary
c/o Marion Woodman Collection Endowment
PO Box 50157
Santa Barbara, CA 93150
Tax ID: 770225564

Or, to:

Community Hospital Foundation
Post Office Box HH
Monterey, CA 93942

A memorial service for Barbara will be held at The Church in the Forest in Pebble Beach on the 29th of January at 2PM.