Promoted to Glory
A/Captain Harlan Nelson
A/Captain Harlan Nelson, 86, was promoted to Glory on February 8, 2006, from the Glisan Care Center in Portland, Oregon.
Harlan was born October 9, 1919 in Glenrock, Wyoming. After graduating from high school he married Sybil Putnam. For several years Harlan co-owned two restaurants in Spokane and then moved to Portland where he opened an appliance repair shop. Later he and Sybil moved to Beaverton, Oregon, where he owned and operated a household appliance service for over 20 years.
Later on Harlan felt that God called him to the ministry. In preparation he attended several theological seminaries and earned a Master’s Degree in religious education, a Doctorate in theology, and a degree in Christian counseling.
The Nelsons were introduced to The Salvation Army through Harlan’s work as a counselor at the Harbor Light Center in Portland. After becoming A/Captains in 1974, the Nelsons served as corps officers in Baker, Oregon. In 1978 Harlan was appointed as the correctional service officer at Cascade divisional headquarters. The Nelsons retired from active service in 1984. They made their retirement home in the Portland area.
In retirement Harlan continued to be active in the prison ministry. He supervised and trained clergy and lay chaplaincy in county correctional facilities. He taught jail ministry and established a resource center as a bridge between incarceration and free society for exiting offenders. In 1989 Harlan received the Frontiersman award (now the Trailblazer award) for his outstanding work with prison inmates.
Harlan is survived by four children, sixteen grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren. His wife, Sybil, was promoted to Glory in 1996.
A service of celebration was held at the Portland Tabernacle Corps with Major Dale Hill officiating, assisted by the corps officer, Captain Chris Mitchell.
Captain Louise Helton
Captain Louise Helton, 82, was promoted to Glory on February 2, 2006, from the Life Care Center in Boise, Idaho.
Louise was born January 20, 1924 in Corvallis, Oregon. After graduating from high school in 1941, she attended art school in Eugene, Oregon. During World War II she worked as a riveter for Boeing on war-damaged planes. She met The Salvation Army when she took her son to Sunday school in Roseburg, Oregon. She began attending Home League and was converted at her first divisional Home League camp. Later her husband, Cecil, accepted the Lord and both became soldiers of the Roseburg Corps.
The Heltons worked as assistants at the Idaho Falls Corps from 1954-1956, when they became envoys and assumed command of the Baker, Oregon corps. In 1960, they were one of the first couples to become auxiliary captains, subsequently serving at the Portland Harbor Light, Klamath Falls and La Grande, Oregon corps. While stationed in Pendleton, Oregon, in 1971, the Heltons received the rank of captain, becoming fully commissioned officers in The Salvation Army. They then served in Nampa and Boise, Idaho, before retiring from active service in 1975. They made their retirement home in Boise.
In retirement Louise continued to work for the Army as director of the welfare and shelter program for 10 years. Years after retirement Louise still held local commissions in the corps, including Home League chaplain and assistant corps sergeant-major. She continued her ministry as long as she was able and always encouraged young people.
Louise is survived by a son, Richard L. (Bonnie) Helton; a daughter, Major Joy E. (William) Lum; and four grandchildren: Captain Erica A. Helton, Brian K. Helton, David C. Lum and Denise J. Lum. Her husband, Cecil, was promoted to Glory in 1985.
The funeral service was held at the Boise Corps with Major Barbara Blix officiating.