Charlie Stephen Nelson
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July 23, 1920-June 29, 2014
Captain Charlie Stephen Nelson, USNR-Retired, 93, of Durham, NC, passed away June 29, 2014 of cancer at Duke Hospice in Durham. He was the husband of Margaret N. Nelson of Durham, his wife Norma J. Nelson, who preceded him in death, their daughter, Katherine L. Pigford, of Pine Bluff, NC, and their son, Charlie S. Nelson, Jr. of Durham, as well as his sister, Margaret R. Nelson of Charlotte and Durham, NC. He is also survived by 5 Grand Children, 4 Great Grandchildren, and 2 Great Great Grandchildren. He is also survived by his Step Children; Nancy Davis of Durham and Will Winton Alexander of Greensboro, 5 Step Grandchildren and 4 Step Great Grandchildren. He was the son of the late James Lee Nelson and the late Eva Bass Nelson of Charlotte.
Captain Nelson graduated from Central High School, Charlotte, NC 1938; University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, AB Journalism, 1942. He was Commissioned Ensign, US Navy, in March, 1943, after attending Columbia University, NY, Wartime Naval Officer Training.
NAVAL CAREER: World War II: Solomon Islands Campaign, Naval Battle of Empress Augusta Bay, Naval Battle of Cape St. George, Naval Battle of Surigao Strait. He participated in the Invasions of: Bougainville Islands, Palau, Caroline Islands, Leyte Island, Negros, Cebu, Palawan, Linguayan Gulf and Corregidor Island, Philippines. He was also Assistant Professor of Naval Science at University of Idaho, Vanderbilt University and Auburn University.
Operations Officer and Navigator of USS Edisto, (AGB-2), from which he charted the North Magnetic Pole. Captain Nelson was awarded the Navy Commendation Medal with Combat "V" attachment for valor and received 10 Combat Battle Stars, amongst other awards and medals.
CIVILIAN CAREER: Head Cheerleader-1940, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. United Services Life Insurance Company 1958 to 1982. General Agent for the State of Hawaii. Life and Qualifying member for 25 years of the Million Dollar Round Table of the National Association of Life Underwriters. Commodore, Seal Beach, California, Yacht Club. President, Reserve Officers Association, Hawaii. National Man of the Year, Chi Phi Fraternity.
Author: Southern Redfeet. Hawaii State Champion, Midget Ocean Sailboat Racing.
A Celebration of Life ceremony will be held for Captain Nelson at the Chapel at Croasdaile Village, Durham, on July 19, 2014, at 2:00 pm. He will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery, with Honors, as well as at sea from the USS Cape St. George, (CG71) at a later date. The Family asks that you not send flowers, but send donations in lieu to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America: http://www.alzfdn.org/
Published in The News & Observer on July 8, 2014