Mavis Nellis


Mavis Nellis entered into eternal life on Jan. 17. She was 83.

Mavis was born and raised in Queens, N.Y., the daughter Marvin and Frieda Freudenberg. She was a graduate of Richmond Hills High School and Wagner College, earning her bachelor’s degree in 1955. After graduation, Mavis had the opportunity to board the French ocean liner SS Île de France bound for Europe, where she traveled for two and a half months.

Upon her return, she took a position with Banker’s Trust in New York City.

In 1956, she married her college sweetheart, Staten Island, N.Y., native and service veteran William Nellis. In 1961 they moved to rural Middletown, N.J., where they raised their family.

Mavis was a stay-at-home mom for 20 years and frugally ran her household on her husband’s teaching salary. She looked forward to each summer when they would load camping gear and their children into their VW bug and travel up and down the east coast, visiting places from Nova Scotia to North Carolina. The family also enjoyed several week-long summer gatherings in Crystal Springs, N.H., with the Freudenberg side of the family. Mavis liked to spend time on the New Jersey shore and swim in the ocean. She kept the flowers blooming in their gardens.

Mavis began her teaching career in 1980, working as a remedial math and reading teacher in the Middletown Public Schools. She loved her students and the opportunity to help them learn in a small-group setting. She was an expert seamstress and enjoyed playing the piano. When the grandchildren came along, she became expert at knitting children’s sweaters.

In June of 2017, the family moved Mavis to Pine Ridge Extended Care Center in Pagosa Springs. She spent the last six and a half months of her life with the other adorable residents and being cared for by the wonderful Pine Ridge staff.

She was predeceased by her parents, brother Marvin Freudenberg and sister Lillian Armbrust. Surviving are her husband, William, of Middletown, N.J.; sister Marian Thorpe, of New York City; brothers William Freudenberg, of Queens, N.Y., and Howard Freudenberg of Rockford, Ill.; stepmother Ellen Freudenberg, of Rockford, Ill.; son Kurt Nellis, of Keyport, N.J.; daughter Kristen Nellis, of Pagosa Springs; son Jed Nellis, of Oceanside, Calif.; and her eight grandchildren: Daniel Crenshaw, Laurel Cammack, Olivia and Ian Reinhardt, Louis, Samantha and Erik Nellis, and Joseph Nellis.

A memorial service is being planned in Middletown.