Chef Steve Nelson Memorial

Thank you for honoring Steve Nelson in this way. He was a beloved husband, father, brother, boss, and chef, and an all-around wonderful person. Steve’s obituary is below.

Click here to read about Steve’s work at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem, Massachusetts.

To learn more about our work with autistic adolescents and young adults at The Community School, please click here.

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Write a check to The Community School. Mail it to us at:
The Community School
308 Clairemont Avenue
Decatur, GA 30030

We will send you a thank you letter and receipt for your tax-deductible donation (whether you give online or by mailing in a check). Your entire gift will support TCS.

We will also make sure that Steve’s family knows of your remembrance. Thank you!

Beverly, Massachusetts – Steven Nardin Nelson, 61, of Beverly, beloved husband of Penny (Harding) Nelson, died unexpectedly Wednesday, June 14, 2017 at Lahey Clinic in Peabody.

Born in Birmingham, Alabama, he was the son of Margaret (Webb) Nelson and the late Graham J. Nelson. He was raised and educated in Boxford, attended the Landmark School and was a graduate of Masconomet High School. He continued his education at the Culinary Institute of America in Poughkeepsie, New York, where he earned his degree in Culinary Arts.

Steve, a trained Master Chef, was the Executive Chef at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem for 32 years, where he was respected as a leader and loved for his warmth and humor. His patient, kind temperament enabled him to mentor aspiring chefs, to run a professional kitchen, and to develop a variety of New England inspired recipes during his tenure.

Steve’s passion for cooking was complemented by his ability to forge relationships with people from all walks of life. Whether in a fine dining setting or at a backyard barbecue, Steve’s love of food, enthusiasm for life, and gentle, self-effacing wit enabled him to bring people together.

Steve loved the outdoors, from canoeing on a river and fishing off his boat in the ocean to working in his vegetable and herb gardens. His resourcefulness, durability, and positive attitude made him a great companion in nature and while traveling.  He was a devoted husband and dedicated father to his daughters.

Steve is survived by Penny (Harding) Nelson, his wife of 34 years, his daughters, Sarah Alexander and her husband Scott of Petaluma, California, Katie Nelson of Beverly, and Emmy Nelson and her significant other Jimmy Frye of Danvers, his mother, Margaret (Webb) Nelson of Peabody, his sisters, Blair Nelson of Rye, NH, Bethany Nelson and her husband Hessel Flach of Topsfield, and Lesley Tolman and her husband Garth of Boxford; his brothers, Michael Nelson and his wife Valerie of Vallejo, California, and David Nelson and his wife Beth Champ of Atlanta, Georgia, and many nieces and nephews.

ARRANGEMENTS: Relatives and close friends are invited to celebrate his life at the Hawthorne Hotel, Washington Sq., Salem, on Friday, June 23rd from 1 to 3pm. Assisting the family with the arrangements is the Peterson-O’Donnell Funeral Home 167 Maple St., (Rte 62) Danvers.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Community School, 308 Clairemont Ave, Decatur, Georgia 30030, or To share a memory or offer a condolence, please visit

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