Wendy Elizabeth (Hansen) Nelson was born March 3, 1959 in California.
She was eagerly awaited by Bill and Peg Hansen who adopted Wendy into their loving family.
The three Hansens lived in Pleasant Hill, California until Wendy was three when they moved to Salem, Oregon and lived for ten years. Wendy loved picking beans and berries for a local farmer in the Willamette Valley, generally putting at least as much in her bucket as she ate in the process.
She was always proud of her first bicycle, purchased with money she earned from the beans and berries that she didn’t eat.
The Hansens relocated to Twin Falls, Idaho in 1972.
Bill was part of the team that located and built the Moore Business Forms plant in neighboring Jerome, Idaho and he stayed on as the plant engineer.
Wendy attended junior high and high school in Twin Falls, graduating in 1977.
Wendy was a swimmer both in Salem as part of the Swim and Tennis Club and in Twin Falls on the YMCA swim team. The whole family travelled to swim meets in Oregon and all around southern Idaho, enjoying her competitive spirit. Wendy was also a loving part of the extended Quinn family of Boise, Idaho through Peg’s sister Elizabeth (Bitsy) Quinn and Bitsy’s husband Jim. Wendy loved betting the college sports line with Uncle Jimmy each football and basketball season. The same dollar bills passed back and forth many times, and in the end no great fortunes shifted one way or the other.
Wendy attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, joining the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority. There she first met her future husband Kent Nelson. Wendy moved to Boise in 1981 and she began working as the office manager for Consolidated Concrete. Kent moved to Boise in 1984 to begin a law career and the two were married in St. Michael’s Cathedral in 1986. Wendy had another family to love with Kent’s parents Rose Mary and LaVerne
, and his four brothers and two sisters. Through Wendy, the Nelsons and the Hansens became family quickly and completely. Fourth of July was always spent at the Nelson house in Salmon watching the holiday fireworks in the evening, followed by watching the BLM crews scramble after the ensuing fires in the foothills for the rest of the night. Wendy (and Salmon’s economy) looked forward each year to shopping up and down Main Street the day after Thanksgiving.
Wendy continued working for Consolidated Concrete until the company was sold in 2006. She moved with Kent back to Moscow in September, 2006, when he became General Counsel for the University of Idaho. Wendy, having retired from Consolidated, became the indispensable “Manager of Kent” and continued as loving support for her parents in Boise. There were many trips back and forth between Moscow and Boise, and many happy days wandering the shops of the mall and of downtown Boise with Peg. With the move back to Moscow, she became active within the University of Idaho family in Moscow in many ways including as a confidant to presidential spouses and in the University’s newly formed social club, welcoming new members to the University Community. She was also “Aunt” Wendy to Hillary and Gabrielle, daughters of her dear friends Grant and Cheryl Finch of Sandy Utah.
Wendy fought a brief and brave battle with cancer throughout which her first thoughts were always for her parents and her husband. She succumbed to the disease in Boise on May 8, 2016 having returned with Kent to be near her loving parents. She loved, and was loved, deeply and she will be missed greatly by her family and her many friends and colleagues.
Wendy is survived by her husband Kent and her parents Bill and Peg as well as her aunt Bitsy and various brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, cousins and lifelong friends.
There will be a celebration of Wendy’s life in Boise at the Eagle Hills Golf Course clubhouse at beginning at 4:30 pm Saturday May 21, 2016, as well as one in Moscow to be announced upon Kent’s return there. Those who knew Wendy are encouraged to visit the Alden-Waggoner website at
to leave thoughts and stories which will be incorporated into the celebrations. Those planning on attending the celebration of life in Boise are asked to leave an RSVP on the website as well. The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, those who loved Wendy consider donations to cancer research of your choice.