Lawrence Paul Nelson Age 85, passed away after a short illness on May 12, 2013 at his home in Ashland, Oregon. He was born on October 26, 1927 in East Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Paul V. and F. Dorothea Nelson. He graduated from Ottawa Hills High School in 1945 and from Michigan State University in 1949 with a degree in Civil Engineering. He went to work for the Michigan State Highway Department and after becoming a Registered Professional Engineer became the youngest ever project engineer for the department. He entered private contracting work and eventually became president and co-owner of Spartan Aggregates Inc. of Holt, Michigan, until his retirement in 1985. In 1953 he married Marian Griffin of Lansing, Michigan. After that ended in divorce, he married Mable Colman of Hartford, Michigan, in 1962. She died in 1975. In 1985 he married Janet L. Coye of Lansing, who survives him. Larry was a lifelong outdoorsman and conservationist, enjoying fishing from Hudson's Bay to Central America and hunting from Wyoming to Botswana where he had a private safari. His respect for nature was evident when, after extracting gravel, he sculptured the pits into pleasant lakes, an activity for which he received an award. As a hobby, he raised buffalo and Scottish cattle. In retirement Larry and Janet travelled widely, circling the earth four times and visiting seventy-six countries, while living in Hawaii between trips. In 2000 they settled in Ashland, Oregon. Besides his wife Janet, he leaves behind his brother Donald F. Nelson of Worcester and Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, his sister Dorothy J. Healy of Alamo, California, and three step-children, Molly Joel Coye of Los Angeles, California, Peter L. Coye of Claremont, California, and Carol Benson of Ashland, Oregon, and all of their families.
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Published in Lansing State Journal on June 30, 2013