Heartfelt condolences on the loss of Dawn Ruth Nelson

We would like to offer our heartfelt condolences to Roma and John Ruth on the loss of their beloved daughter Dawn Ruth Nelson. Dawn passed away at the age of 65 on August 21, 2017 at her parents’ home in Harleysville, Pennsylvania. She was the wife of Paul J. Nelson.

Dawn was a Mennonite pastor, spiritual director, and author, and a loving and nurturing wife and mother. She was part of the first Mennonite peace witness in Ireland from 1979-1991 and then worked as a chaplain at Indian Creek Foundation for 7 years, trying to bring marginalized people more into the center of the church. Following that she served for 11 years as the first woman pastor of Methacton Mennonite Church, a small congregation on the fringe of Franconia Mennonite Conference. She studied in United Church of Christ and Mennonite Seminaries and at Neumann (Catholic) University, and in 2004 she received a doctor of ministry from Lancaster Theological Seminary.


The funeral was held on Saturday, August 26 at Salford Mennonite Church. The family requested memorial donations made in Dawn’s name to The Living Branches Foundation Benevolent Care Fund, 207 W. Summit Street, Souderton, PA 18969.

–Audrey Voth Petkau and the TourMagination team

Add a comment