Nels August Parson Jr. Nels August Parson Jr., Colonel, United States Army Ret., of Charlottesville, Virginia, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 19, 2013. He was 92. He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Donna Hart Parson; brother, Harold; children, Gail and Ron; and grandchildren, Rebecca and Christina Parson and Kyle Willingham. Nels Parson grew up in south Florida during the Depression, one of six children; he was an Eagle Scout, and earned a scholarship to Marion Military Institute in Alabama. He graduated from West Point on D-Day, June 6, 1944. He fought as a forward artillery observer in the 69th Infantry Division across Belgium and Germany, at the Bulge, Remagen on the Rhine and linking with the Russians on the Elbe River. He helped bring German rocket scientists to the U.S.; authored Missiles and the Revolution in Warfare (Harvard); and, in Korea, commanded the Army's first nuclear-armed missile battalion. In 1965 until 1966, he commanded the 3rd Armored Division Artillery in Germany. He served two tours In Vietnam. He received a Silver Star and four Bronze Stars for valor, two Legions of Merit, and other commendations. He retired to the beautiful mountainside acres he loved in Washington, Virginia, where he designed a chalet, farmed Christmas trees, built a treehouse for his grandchildren, ran off bears, built stone walls, and hosted 15 Easter sunrise services. He researched and authored a romantic novel about the American revolution, The Compleat Journal of Landon Vickers. With his wife, he traveled extensively to Alaska, China, Europe, and Australia. He was an active churchman and believed in Christ his Lord and Savior. A memorial service will be held 2 p.m. Saturday, June 1, 2013, in the chapel at Westminster Canterbury, 250 Pantops Mtn. Rd., Charlottesville, VA 22911. The military honors ceremony will be held in September at Arlington National Cemetery.
This obituary was originally published in the Daily Progress.