Joan L. Nelson

Smethport - Joan L. Nelson, 88, of Smethport, passed away Thursday (January 28, 2021) in Sena Kean Manor, Smethport.


She was born May 8, 1932 in Rockland, PA, a daughter of Carl and Anna Smith Switzer.  On October 9, 1953, in Kane, she married Donald I. Nelson, who died December 31, 2019.


Mrs. Nelson was a graduate of Bradford High School.  She was a housewife, tending to the needs of her family.


Joan was a member of the Coleville Christian Gospel Church where she played the piano and directed the choir.  She loved church fellowships with her friends.  She enjoyed music and playing her piano and accordion.  Her musical talents could be heard the moment you walked through the door.  Reading  and putting together puzzles  w ere   some of her favorite pass times.  Time with family was the most important to her.  Holidays, picnics and the anticipation of family coming to visit was the highlight of her life.   


She is survived by:

Three sons:  Michael R. (Candice) Nelson and Steven S. (Lisa) Nelson, both of Smethport, and Thomas D. (Sonia) Nelson of Bradford

One daughter:  Yvonne D. (Rev. Max) Simms of Gifford

Twelve grandchildren:  Becky, Nicole, Emily, Bryce, Danielle, Thomas Jr., Tim, Andria, Joshua, Tiffany, Megan and Max Jr.

Twelve great-grandchildren

One brother:  Craig Switzer of Eldred

And many nieces and nephews


In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by two brothers, Robert and Donald Switzer, and one sister, Norma Jean Switzer.


Visitation will be held on Monday, Feb. 1, from 10-11 AM at the Hilltop Baptist Church, Gifford, where funeral and committal services will begin at 11 AM.  Burial will be in Rose Hill Cemetery, Smethport.


Memorials, if desired, may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice.  Online condolences may be made at


Arrangements are under the direction of the Hartle-Tarbox Funeral Homes, Inc., Smethport.