Cornelia “Nela” Becker Dwyer
October 8, 1945 – May 24, 2020
Nela Dwyer (74) passed away peacefully on May 24, 2020 in her Lake Wildwood home with her two daughters, Holly Williams and Heather Kelley, by her side. Nela fought a short yet brave fight against Stage 3 Primary Amyloidosis.
Born on October 8, 1945 in Upstate New York to Dr. Karl E. and Gerda B. With joining big brother Chris to even out the perfect family. Nela’s family moved in 1949 to West Los Angeles. She graduated from Hamilton High School. Nela’s love for all things equestrian took her to Stephens College to join their competitive Equestrian team and then on to the University of Missouri graduating with a degree in Elementary Education. While in Missouri Nela met and married Pat Williams, together they had a daughter, Holly. The family of three relocated to Grass Valley, Ca. where Nela started her long career in Education with the Nevada City School District, teaching 2nd grade at Nevada City Elementary School. While in Grass Valley, Nela and Pat added a second daughter, Heather to the family. In 1975 the family moved to Lake Wildwood, becoming one of the first full time families to make their home there.
In 1982 Nela married, William “Bill” Dwyer and they were happily married for 30 years until his passing in 2012. Nela and Bill were the owners/operators of The Tack Room Restaurant/Bar for many years until Bill’s retirement. While running the Tack Room, Nela continued her first love of teaching with the Nevada City School District, teaching many different grades, and at many of their campuses.
When Nela retired in 2010 she couldn’t stay away from educating, and continued to work part-time for the School District teaching math classes, being a Mentor teacher via the B.I.T.S.A. program, proctoring the annual County Writing Tournaments, and lastly by tutoring many of the local school children needing a bit of extra help with their studies.
Nela’s love for teaching (especially Math) was only shadowed by her love for the game of Tennis. Nela enjoyed playing tennis at LWW multiple times a week with a wonderful group of ladies, and if not playing tennis she was watching it on TV, even if it was a ‘rerun’. She was happiest when she was with family, playing tennis, or on horseback, the family often joked if horses could play tennis she would be over the moon.
Nela was preceded in death by her husband Bill Dwyer, she is survived by daughters, Holly Williams of Lake Wildwood and Heather Kelley and her husband Brian of Folsom, Grandchildren Caitlyn and Jack Kelley of Folsom, Brother Dr. Chris and sister-in-law Beverly With of Washington, DC , daughter-of-the-heart Shannon Rashby of Nevada City and many, many friends she considered family.
The family wishes to thank Nela’s ‘tribe’ of girlfriends that drove her every week to her treatments. She looked forward to spending the afternoon with each of you. Thank you also to the wonderful medical team at Stanford Amyloidosis Clinic, the kind caregivers from Comfort Keepers, and the compassionate team from Hospice of the Foothills.
A celebration of life will be held at the Lake Wildwood Community Center in the upcoming month(s) when gatherings are allowed due to the COVID-19 restrictions.
In lieu of flowers we ask that you donate in Nela’s name to Hospice of the Foothills, or in her grandson Jack Kelley’s honor to It Takes Guts http://www.it-takes-guts.org
We love you to the moon and back Mom/Nana!
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Connect with needs and opportunities from
Get immediate access to organizations and people in our area that need your help or can provide help during the Coronavirus crisis.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User