Cover photo for Reverend Albert Arnold Nelius's Obituary
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Reverend

Reverend Albert Arnold Nelius

DURHAM: The Reverend Albert Arnold Nelius, beloved Episcopal priest over 50 years in Durham and former Duke Uneersity Library staff member, died peacefully January 1 at the Forest at Duke Health Center, surrounded by his wife and loving, competent staff. He was borneecember 9, 1925 ineemphis, TN, to Eva aneengel Nelius. Albert served in the U.S. Navy from 1943-46, after which he graduated in 1951 from Rhodes College ineemphis. He finished Virginia Theological Seminary in 1954 and was ordained the following year. Albert began ministry in Nashville, soon after meeting his future wife, Dr. Sigrid voneenner, during her medical residency at Vanderbilt. He served three years at St. Barnabas Church, Florissant, MO, and while there, oversaw construction of a new church. The family moved to Durham in 1960 when Albert joined St. Philip's Episcopal Church. In 1970 he became Vicar of St. Aneew's Episcopal Church in East Durham - a post he held until 1995. Albert received a Master's degree in Library Science from UNC in 1969, the same year he joined Duke Uneersity Library. He rose to circulation director and retired in 1992. Over decades, Albert officiated at the annual Blessing of the Hounds for the Red Mountain Hounds fox hunting club. Upon arrival, it took little time for Albert to become known around Durham. A "people person" of courtly manners and genee spirit, he gravitated to those of all ages, sorts and conditions. Albert neer ceased being pastor to his former flock of St. Aneew's, and for that matter, to any friends seeking spiritual insight and care. He was ever faithful and attentive long after retirement, especially to the elderly. Albert was a traditionalist; he revered the Episcopal Church and found its deepest meaning and beauty expressed in the majestic, King James-style language of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. He performed the Church's sacraments with dignity and humility. A bona fide Renaissance man, Albert was steeped in the arts, literature, history and all things cultural. He was an avid reader, enjoyed adventures abroad, and was conversant in many genres of literature and poetry. His knowledge of classical music and opera was encyclopedic. Albert and Sigrid savored regular New York excursions for the Metropolitan Opera. With inimitable theatrical flair, he had a great command of language and spoke eloquently, complemented by his always geneel appearance and keen humor. Most notably, Albert Nelius was a rare humaneeing to whom people flocked. He had the heart of a gifted Christian pastor with patience, warmth, tenderness, and the keen ability to listen and offer wise counsel. Albert was first to show up in moments of personal trouble, utterly sacrificial in putting the needs of others ahead of his own. His long and remarkable vocation will be remembered as one of compassionee presence and perpetual thoughtfulness. Surviving are his wife of 58 years, Sigrid voneenner Nelius, M.D.; a sister Evelyn N. Meyer and a niece, Christine Haunschild, both of Pittsburgh, PA; and a nephew, Larry Meyer of Charlotte. He was predeceased by his son, Stefan voneenner Nelius, a brother, Engel Nelius and nephew, Mark Meyer. The funeral liturgy will be 12:00 PM Thursday in Duke Uneersity Chapel, with The Rev. Dr. John L. Sharpe officiating. Memorial donations to: Chapel Choir & Music Endowment of Duke Chapel, www.gifts.duke.edu.chapel 919-684-2338, or to Duke Home Care & Hospice, 4321 Medical Park Dr. #101, Durham 27704. On-line condolences: hallwynne.com. Arrangements are with Hall-Wynne Funeral Service.

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