Nels J. Northup, 75, of Boyne Falls, passed away July 2, 2014, following a long battle with a rare form of skin cancer. Nels was born, the second of twins, in Boyne City, July 3, 1938, the son of Edna M. (Inman) and Murray L. Northup Sr.
Nels graduated from Boyne City High School in 1956, and then attended Michigan State University
and Central Michigan University where he graduated with a degree in History and Mathematics, with a certification in secondary education. He later earned his Master's degree in counseling. Nels taught in Harrison for two years before settling in Gladwin where he taught, counseled, instructed Driver's Education and coached football for 36 years.
Nels was a member of the United Methodist Church in Gladwin until 1999, and Christ Lutheran Church in Boyne City, thereafter where he served as an elder. He was a member of the Lions Club for many years, serving in both Gladwin and Boyne City, and held a number of positions including secretary, treasurer and president among others. He was a member of the Board of Review in Boyne Falls and Council on Aging in Boyne City. In 1999, Nels was inducted into the Michigan High School Football Coach's Hall of Fame and later the Boyne City High School Alumni Hall of Fame.
Nels could be heard saying, "I am so lucky. I got to marry the love of my life twice." Nels married Linda Lee Bricker Aug. 30, 1958 in Boyne City. She preceded him in death in 1998. He then married Louisa Ann Taylor in 1999. They moved to Boyne Falls in God's country shortly thereafter, and spent 15 happily married years together.
Nels is survived by his loving wife; five daughters, Kathryn Taylor-Gross (Evansville, Ind.), Kimberly Taylor Martin (Grand Rapids), Lynnell (Dennis) Wakley (Lyons), Lori (Bill) Bailey (Alto) and Jennifer (Tony) Witer (Anna, Ohio); 14 grandchildren; 7 great- grandchildren; in-laws, Roy and Leone (Bricker) Dewing (Albuquerque, N.M.); brothers, Murray L. (Jan) Northup Jr. (Midland), William (Barb) Northup (Spring Hill, Fla.), Michael Northup (Sterling Heights), Kenneth C. (Lena) May (Brandenburg, Ky.); brother-in-law, John (Carlene) Bricker (Broomfield, Colo.); and sister-in-law, Marvene May.
Nels was also preceded in death by his sister, Nancy L Northup; and his brother, Richard May.
Funeral services will be conducted July 19, 2014, with an 11 a.m. service at Christ Lutheran Church, 1250 Boyne Avenue in Boyne City, Mich. A luncheon will be offered following the funeral. A Celebration of Life Memorial will follow at 1 p.m., and will provide an opportunity to share experiences and memories of Nels's life, his career, interactions in the classroom and behind the wheel, and the many memories with his football players, both on and off the field. Carl Charon, a long-time friend and colleague, has graciously offered to speak. This promises to be meaningful as we pay tribute to the man who made such a difference in our lives.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to the
or Lions Club International by way of Boyne Valley Lions Club, P.O. Box 451, Boyne City, Mich., 49712.