Our Team

committed to serving you

Our friendly and professional staff is dedicated to serving families across Northern Michigan.

Patricia Nelson and H. Charles Nelson


Patricia (Wattson) Nelson, is the baby of nine, who’s family home was on Main Street, Gaylord.  A graduate of Mercy College in nursing, she married Chuck in 1960 and moved back to Gaylord in 1965 with two daughters, to open the Nelson Funeral Home, Inc. Pat & Chuck raised their five children in Gaylord and have owned and operated the funeral home for 56 years.  In the community, Mrs. Nelson has been a pillar, always volunteering in numerous organizations; OHM Hospital board, St. Mary Cathedral & School, American Cancer Society & Salvation Army and beyond.  Patricia has assisted Chuck and our entire team at the funeral home for over 50 years and to this day, she feels it is her honor to help the families of Otsego County.

Chuck Nelson established the Nelson Funeral Home in 1965. Chuck and his wife Patricia, native of Gaylord, MI,  have five children; Carol, Susan, David, Kelly and Elizabeth. Chuck was a graduate of Worsham College of Mortuary Science.  He passed on April 8, 2020 and is buried at St. Mary Cemetery, Gaylord, Michigan.

Hanna Patrick

Hanna Patrick

Manager & Licensed Funeral DirectoR

She attended Gaylord High School and after receiving her associate degree from North Central Michigan College in Petoskey, she went on to obtain her Bachelors in Mortuary Science degree from Wayne State University in 2021. During her program at WSU Hanna completed the Resident Trainee Program with the Nelson Funeral Home and is now a Licensed Funeral Director and Manager with our firm. We are very proud of her accomplishments and are thrilled to have this dynamic young professional on our team sharing her compassion and kindness with our families.

Before she knew this would be her career path, Hanna worked as a nurse’s aide, working with geriatric and disabled individuals. She also volunteered with the Children’s Bereavement Camp and feels that children going through grief deserve just as much care as an adult. Hanna enjoys getting out into and helping our community members.

Hanna is passionate about being able to personalize every family’s service. She believes the little touches that go into the things she makes are what make them memorable. Designing and planning memorials and monuments that honor the life of the person she is serving is her goal.

When she is not working with our families, Hanna can be found working on her new home,  riding her side-by-side with her dad, Tim, doing yard work and crafting with her mom, Michelle, and spending time growing her bond and relationship with her sister, Emily, and her first niece, Dakota Kai, who was born in November of 2020. 

If there is anything Hanna can help you with, please contact her at hanna@nelsonsfuneralhome.com.

Brian Patrick

Senior Licensed funeral directoR

We are thrilled to have had Brian Patrick join our team in January 2023. He comes to us from the greater Detroit area where he owned and operated the John K. Solosy Funeral Home for the past 13 years. Prior to that Brian had worked at two other Detroit area family-owned funeral homes as a director and manager. He is very dedicated, professional, and compassionate. Serving families is a great honor and privilege for Brian.

Brian was born in Traverse City and raised in Mancelona. He graduated from Mancelona High School in 1986, and from Mortuary School at Wayne State University in 1990. He and his wife Kris have a home in Northern Michigan and together have 5 grown children who they are very proud of.

Upon deciding to sell his funeral home downstate and return to his roots, he called Mrs. Nelson to see if he could bring his 33 years of experience to the Nelson Funeral Home and the rest is history.

Brian loves being back up north full time. He and Kris enjoy summer bonfires, bike riding, going for long rides in their Jeep and spending time with their family and friends. When time permits Brian also enjoys hunting, fishing, and golfing in beautiful northern Michigan.

Please email Brian at brian@nelsonsfuneralhome.com.

Derek Hagland

Derek Hagland

removal team speciaLIst & Support Staff

A Pastor, father of five, follower of Christ and a valuable team player for the Nelson Funeral Home & Cremation Service staff. We are honored to have Derek on our team helping our families.

Tim Jackson

Licensed funeral director

Tim Jackson, born in Pontiac, MI in 1969 is a proud father of two daughters, Torri and Madison. (and is soon to be a grandfather in January 2024!)

Tim moved to Kentucky in the 6th grade, Graduated from Evarts High School in Evarts, KY in 1987.  He attended Southeast Kentucky Community & Technology College in Cumberland, KY for 18 months. In 1991, he began working for Mount Pleasant Funeral Home and Ambulance Service in Harlan, KY. While working for the funeral home, he attended mortuary school.  He graduated in 1996 from Midi-America College of Funeral Service in Jeffersonville, IN, with an associate degree in Applied Sciences (funeral service).

He moved to Lewiston, MI in 2015, and began working for the Nelson Funeral Home & Cremation Service in 2017.

Tim’s hobbies include a wide variety of things. He is a gifted Photographer who has taken many award-winning photos, some we have shared on our social media page. When his camera is not around his neck, you will find him outdoors or at home doing what he loves; hunting, fishing, cooking, and baking.


We are honored to have Tim helping our families.  Please reach out to Tim by email at, Tim@nelsonsfuneralhome.com.

Debra “Deb” Wojtkowiak

Funeral ServICe Specialist

Born in Gaylord, MI, she is a 1977 graduate of St. Mary High School. She attended North Central Michigan College in Petoskey and is a Member of St. Mary Cathedral parish. Deb began working for the Nelson Funeral Home & Cremation Service in 1979 and is a valuable support staff member at our firm. Every family we serve, Deb assists behind the scenes. We are beyond grateful for her contributions to our families each and every day.

Don Gapinski

Don Gapinski

removal team specalist & support staff

Born and raised in Gaylord, Michigan, a 1965 graduate from St. Mary High School and an active member of St. Mary Cathedral Parish.  Don spent 30 years as fleet supervisor at Purchase Sales at Dean Foods in Gaylord, and 15 years as Store Manager at Valley Truck Parts in Gaylord, and retired from Valley Truck Parts in 2012. Don and his wife, Mary, reside in Gaylord where they raised their two children.  Don has proudly been a part of the team at Nelson Funeral Home since 2012.

Shannon Snyder

finance SPECIALIST & funeral support

Born in Gaylord, MI, the youngest child of Carol Nelson Snyder’s four children, Shannon joins the Nelson Funeral Home team as the third generation of the Nelson family to join the family business.  Shannon brings numerous years of experience in accounting and finance from a Northern Michigan resort and we are thrilled to have her on our team.  Shannon is honored to continue her mother’s tradition of caring for the families of Gaylord. She and her son, Dillon, live in Gaylord and love skiing, boating, and golfing.  Please reach out to Shannon with any questions, shannon@nelsonsfuneralhome.com.

Trudy Koscielniak

Trudy Koscielniak

Visitation specialist

A key employee of our firm and our visitation team for over 35 years, Trudy helps the families we serve during visitations and services. She is a staple in the community and St. Mary Cathedral. Trudy is integral member of the Nelson Funeral Home & Cremation Service staff, everyone feels her compassion and kindness when she greets them at the funeral home doors.

Elizabeth Tobias

Marketing manager

Born in Gaylord, MI and is the youngest child to Patricia & H. Charles Nelson, Elizabeth joined the team at Nelson Funeral Home & Cremation Service in May 2009 upon her sister Carol’s illness. Focusing on marketing, public relations, community outreach and human resources for the funeral home; she enjoys working with our amazing staff. Married to Philip Tobias of Gaylord, MI, they have two children, Hogan and Jack and live in Dillon, CO. Elizabeth travels to Michigan to help the family business with the guidance of her mother and brother. A graduate of Michigan State University, she is proud to be involved in the family business and thrilled to be a part of the fabulous community where she grew up.

Alexis Masley

Funeral Support & Visitation specialist

Alexis Masley joined our team to assist with Visitations in 2022 and has evolved into a key funeral support and community involvement coordinator. We are thrilled to have her on our team.

Alexis was born in the Detroit area and grew up in Northern Michigan. She attended Gaylord High School and graduated from North Central Michigan College with an Associates Degree in Nursing, a Bachelor of Science degree from Western Michigan University, and graduate courses in Counseling.

Her Registered Nurse experience includes nursing in the hospital setting, home care, and hospice. She received national certification in Hospice nursing.

After retiring from nursing, Alexis has chosen to join the Nelson Funeral Home team and continue to share her education and experience.

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