Aug. 17, 1917 ~ Nov. 30, 2013|
Willard Edwin Nelson passed away Nov. 27, 2013 of natural causes.
He is survived by the love of his life for 73 years, Verda Stoker Nelson who he wed Oct. 3, 1940. They were later sealed in the Salt Lake LDS Temple and started their family in Ogden, UT. Their children are Nadine Nelson Allen (Terry), Bountiful; Steven Arthur Nelson (Tamara), Draper; Neil Stoker Nelson (Patricia), Pleasanton, CA; Diana Nelson Gray (John Morgan), Pleasant Grove; Toni Nelson Myers (Larry Maurice), SLC; Susan Nelson Jarvis (Seth Nicholas), SLC; Heidi Nelson Jenkins (John Richard), SLC; and Paul Eugene Wiseman (Toni), SLC. Their posterity includes 30 grandchildren and 76 great-grandchildren.
Willard was the oldest child born August 17, 1917 to Arthur Lewis Nelson and Magdalena Stucki Nelson of Coltman, Idaho. He was preceded in death by his parents, Dennis Nelson (brother), and Delores Nelson Hansen & Dorothy Nelson Forkner (sisters). His surviving brothers are Oren (Liz), Emery, Dalmas of SLC, and Arlen Nelson (Marie) of Murray, UT.
Raised on a farm 10 miles north of Idaho Falls and in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he attended Fairview Elementary and graduated in 1935 from Ucon High School where he was valedictorian. In 1938 he moved to Utah, graduated from LDS Business College in SLC, and also attended the University of Utah and Weber State College. Passing the Civil Service exam as 8th of 2000, he was accepted as the youngest mail clerk in the Railway Mail Service west of the Mississippi. He worked for this Postal Transport Service for 27 years on the "City of San Francisco" train from Ogden to Lovelock, Nevada, retiring 1967. During WWII he served as a Navy mail clerk in San Diego for 18 months and later on "Eniwetok" in the Marshall Islands of the South Pacific for three years until 1945. In 1945 Willard and his brothers formed Nelson Brothers Construction Company. Nelson Bros. Equities was his personal apartment business with over 45 units including multiple dwellings where he enjoyed renters, building housing, and remodeling older homes in the Salt Lake area. The family moved to SLC in 1955 from Ogden, last residing at Sunrise Senior Living.
Willard was a very dedicated home teacher and served his callings in the LDS Church enjoying the people he served. To know Willard was to see a man with intelligence, kindness, generosity, a sense of humor, and very timely wit where he delighted us all. He loved music, history, politics, geography, current events and people. His life focused on country, family, and being involved in the community. He was active in the Utah Apt. Assoc., United Nations Assoc., America Legion, VFW Post 112, Neighborhood Watch, and supporting his family and grandchildren's activities. With his family, friends, and extended family, he enjoyed socializing while water/snow skiing, owning several boats, river rafting, fishing & camping, cruising and traveling all over the world. Dad loved his brother's play reading groups, square dancing with his sweetheart, cultural events and the arts. We will truly miss the late night ice cream breaks and visits.
We thank Inspiration Hospice & Danville Support Services for their dedicated service. Also, the Moran Eye Center for receiving Dad's eyes for research and ask that donations be given in lieu of flowers to the "John A. Moran Eye Center for Translational Medicine (CMT)" at University of Utah. (URL: https://unmarket2.utah.edu/uguve/index.php?gift_id=179&parent_id=40).
A viewing will be held Friday Nov. 29, 6:00-8:00 PM at Russon Brothers Mortuary, 225 South 200 East, Salt Lake City.
Funeral services will be held Saturday Nov. 30, 2013 at 11:00 AM in the LDS Foothill Stake Center, 1932 South 2100 East, Salt Lake City following a viewing 9:30-10:30 AM. Interment will be a 3:00 PM at Roy Stoker Memorial Cemetery 5200 South 2300 West, Roy City, Utah. Online guestbook available at www.russonmortuary.com.
Published in Deseret News from Nov. 29 to Nov. 30, 2013