The Gold Standard of Volunteers: Remembering Danny Nelson

Longtime volunteer and Habitat supporter Denny Nelson lost his valiant battle with cancer and passed away Saturday, December 6.

“Denny was an extraordinary family partner and shepherded many families through the journey of homeownership. He was a true advocate for them and really set the bar for family partners,” said Maureen Fife, CEO at Tacoma/Pierce County Habitat for Humanity.

According to Carolyn Benbow, Homeowner Services Coordinator: he co-taught the New Family Orientation and Mortgage class with Habitat staff for a few years, imparting stories to help the lessons stick in a friendly and encouraging style.  He acted as mentor and friend to homebuyer families, helping them to understand the Habitat requirements and what being a homeowner entailed, and checking on them years after they moved in to see how things were going.  He even helped out on the worksite with his families and afterwards, bringing good humor and smiles to those around him.

Denny loved everything about Habitat – the work we do, the staff, the volunteers, the families – and said on more than one occasion that if there was no other work available, he’d be Habitat’s custodian just because he believed so much in what we do.  We were blessed beyond belief to have such a friend as Denny, and he will be greatly missed. May we all strive to be as kind, devoted and encouraging as Denny in all we do.


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