The following article appeared in the Daily Citizen in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, where Annie went to high school. It is used here with Aaron's permission.
Bright Star Extinguished
Wayland alum killed Sept. 11
By AARON HOLBROOK Managing Editor
Ann Nelson made a practice of whipping her mother, a teacher, at Scrabble and then dissecting the way the game was played. "First she would beat you and then she would tell you why you lost," Jenette Nelson said of her daughter. But the young woman was so easygoing, that the lessons went down smoothly. "Ann had a favorite word "affable" and I think it described her very well," Jenette Nelson said. It was that friendly, competitive drive that led Nelson to Wayland Academy in Beaver Dam for her junior and senior year of high school. That spirit helped her land a job as a bond trader in New York, where she was killed at age 30 in the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. "She was dynamic," said John Patterson, a recently retired English instructor from Wayland, who fondly recalls the friendship he had with Nelson. Patterson was a mentor to Nelson through a Wayland program that establishes mentor groups with an instructor acting as mentor to the students. "You become a little family," Patterson said. Patterson recalls that Nelson quickly took a lead role in the group, helping to draw out quieter students and to quell arguments. She was the sort of student who was not afraid to approach the school administrators and offer her advice or insight, according to Patterson. "Shortly after this whole thing happened a strange idea came to me; I thought, It's too bad Ann Nelson didn't get a chance to talk to those people in the airplane," Patterson said. He also recalls Nelson as an excellent student and friends recall in tributes to Nelson that she was athletically gifted excelling in downhill skiing and picking up tennis while at Wayland. "You could just sort of tell Ann was going to go far," Patterson said.