Born to Emelia Hagely and Amos Sapp on Oct. 27, 1919, in Newnan, Ga., Jackie grew up in Quartzsite, Ariz., and entered Colton Union High School at the age of 12. She graduated with honors as the valedictorian, and continued her education at UCLA at age 16.
Jackie married the late Howard J. Nelson in 1938, and they raised their children in the San Bernardino area.
Nelson worked as an administrative secretary and audiologist with the San Bernardino school district.
The couple retired to Laguna Beach, where Howard pursued his artistic interests, and Jackie volunteered at the Laguna Beach Library.
She was most proud of her family, and of her Quartzsite heritage. She enjoyed reading and knitting.
Nelson is survived by her children, William (and Jan) Nelson of Laguna Beach and Betty Trapp (and Bill Long) of Redondo Beach; grandchildren, Jennifer Chestelson, Eric Nelson and Kevin Trapp; great grandchildren, Zachary, Dylan and Kadin Chestelson; brother William Moon; niece, Carolyn (and Ossie) Barker; and nephews Jim (and Brenda) Leatherwood, and John (and Terri) Leatherwood. Nelson was predeceased by her sister, Amy Leatherwood Waters.
Burial at sea was arranged by the Neptune Society.
Donations in Nelson’s honor may be made to the Quartzsite, Arizona Historical Society, the Laguna Beach Library, or directed to hospice at Saddleback Memorial Medical Center, Laguna Hills.