Nelwyn Raborn

Nelwyn Jewel Martin Raborn, 86, of Bryan, Texas, passed away on Saturday, January 30, 2010 in her home. Visitation will be Wednesday, February 3 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm, at Callaway-Jones Funeral Home in Bryan. Funeral Services are set for 11 am on Thursday, February 4 at the First Baptist Church, Bryan. Interment will follow at Steep Hollow Cemetery.
Nelwyn was born in Ysleta, Texas, on January 20, 1924 to E. C. “Boots” Martin and Winnie Dell Mathis Martin. Soon after, the family returned to Bryan where she attended the Bryan Public Schools, graduating from Stephen F. Austin High School, Class of ’41. She went on to attend Baylor University where she was a member of Alpha Omega Women’s Sorority and graduated in 1944. Nelwyn met John Raborn while attending Baylor University and they were married March 17, 1945 at the First Baptist Church of Bryan. Nelwyn and John spent 32 years in Hong Kong as missionaries with the International Mission Board serving their Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. She lovingly raised her children in Hong Kong and as they left home she found her place of service ministering to the Japanese women in the community.
Survivors include John Raborn, her husband of 64 years; her children, daughter Becky Carlton of Bryan, daughter Peggy Morris and her husband Lewie of Fort Worth, daughter Kay Jones and her husband Ronny of Bryan, son John Clifford Raborn, Jr. and his wife Melody of Fort Worth, daughter Ruth Ann Moller and her husband Scott of Nursery, and daughter Rachel Norris and her husband Bob of Bryan. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Christopher Carlton and Bradley Carlton, Jessica Morris and Joanna Morris, Jeffrey Jones and his wife Sabrina, Gregory Jones and his wife Dee, Scott Jones and his wife Shannon, Karen Raborn and Laura Raborn, Harrison Moller and Emily Moller, and David Norris and Anna Norris; by her great grandchildren, great-granddaughter Gabriela Jones and great-grandson, Blaine Jones; her brother Everett C. Martin and his wife Kay, her sister Janie Wester and her husband Don, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorials may be made to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering through the First Baptist Church of Bryan.


  1. Dear Uncle John and family, We are so sorry to learn of Aunt Nelwyn’s passing, yet we also know that her faith has at last been made sight. Aunt Nelwyn’s wonderful smile is now beaming brighter than ever in the very presence of our Lord Jesus, whom she loved so much! May the God of all comfort truly minister to your hearts in an abundant way, and may your love for her as well as your fond remembrances of her love for you bring you great strength and hope at this time. For we all know we will see her again in heaven, and praise our Lord together with her in that awesome day. We love you and thank God for your great love for Jesus.
    In Christ,
    Bo and Kathy Martin

  2. Dear Cliff, Melody, Karen, laura and family,

    Our deepest sympathies to you in your time of loss
    You are being remembered in our thoughts and prayers

    I Thessalonians 4 : 13-18
    The Coming of the Lord
    Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words.

  3. To the Rayborn family,
    We are so very saddened by the loss of your dear loved one. We will keep you in our prayers for your loss.

    Mack and Betty Knotts

  4. John and family,
    Pat and I send our sincere condolences to you and your family on the passing of Nelwyn. She was a wonderful person and we know you will all miss her deeply. We will be praying for you as you adjust to this great loss.
    Dave & Pat King

  5. We send our love to all of you. Please know that we will be remembering you in our prayers. We give thanks for the privilege of knowing Nelwyn. God bless.
    Marvin and Jean

  6. Dear Uncle John and all of my Raborn Cousins, It’s been years since I’ve seen you, but you will always be family to me. Aunt Nelwyn was a strong and kind presence in my early life whose impact on me has been great all of my life. I remember her solid faith and quiet authority – especially when a zillion kids were running around Hampshire Rd. My prayers are with all of you in this time of loss. May God’s presence and love hold you and bring comfort and peace. Love, Karen (Smith) Moore

  7. John & family,

    What a joy it was to know Nelwyn all those years in Hong Kong. She was such a precious lady. Larry remembers how they shared the same birthday along with Sandie Reynolds. She will be surely missed. You are in our prayers.

    Larry & Marie Harris
    former missionaries to Hong Kong

  8. Mr. Raborn and family…Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. Although we did not know Mrs. Raborn well, she was such a joy when we visited. Brennan’s life has been blessed by knowing all of you. Our deepest sympathy to you…Craig, Julie and Brennan Bailey

  9. I have great memories of Laan Tau (Cabin #22, right?) and mission retreats and parties with Aunt Nelwyn’s great smile and lots of laughter. I’m very glad I had the opportunity to grow up with the Raborn family and I send my deepest condolences to all of you! — Deborah (aka “Debbie”) Smith

  10. Dear Family and Friends,
    I’ve only known one person in the world named Nelwyn and so it is a very dear name to me.

    Aunt Nelwyn was my Sunday School teacher all the way back to my first memories.

    I owe so much of my knowledge of the Lord and His Holy Word to her and her husband, Uncle John.

    Her kind smile and sparkling eyes were such a treasure to all who had the privilege of her acquaintance.

    Even more precious was the passion she had for teaching God’s Word and the evident truth that she lived her belief in it.

    She is one of the godliest women I’ve ever known and yet I was always confident of her genuine acceptance and love for a stinker like me.

    I can only imagine that her Father looked down on her last Saturday and thought, “I can’t make you any more complete in that earthly body.”

    He couldn’t stand the separation any longer and He sang His ‘Welcome Home’ love song to her.

    She knew His voice and replied in perfect obedience.

    I am asking the Father to wrap her family (in which, I proudly count myself) in His arms during this time of loss.

    I am assured that He also heard my prayer and gave her a hug from me.

  11. Nelwyn was a beautiful role model for me. She and John prepared Logan and me for Hong Kong while they were on furlough in Texas just after we were appointed. The Raborn family is dear to the Templeton family. You can be sure Nelwyn’s influence lives on.

  12. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Nelwyn was a precious lady, and I have happy memories of her from our time together in Hong Kong.

    Mary Simmons

  13. Nelwyn was such a special friend. It was a joy to share projects, programs, parties, and just simple, satisfying conversations with her. She always had time to listen to you and make you feel special. Her love for the Lord radiated from her inner being. We will all miss her but we know the angels in heaven are rejoicing over her arrival!

  14. Hi, my name is Chiaki Wada
    I and Amy Hickson were surprised to know Mrs Raborn has passed away. We had a bible study with international ladies almost 20 years ago and Mrs. Raborn joined us and helped us out a lot.
    From that time we have a lot of wonderful memories. We are sorry to hear about the loss but We pray that God will comfort your family.


    Chiaki Wada
    Amy Hickson