James L. Nelson
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June 21, 1939
June 9, 2014
Jim Nelson, a loving husband and father, succumbed to his battle with cancer after a brave and noble fight. He passed away at home surrounded by his loving family. Jim was born in Everett, Washington and grew up in Zillah, WA on a farm with his parents, Carl and Hazel Nelson and his three sisters, Linda (Reg) and Mary (Vern), and Diane. He attended Junior College studying Liberal Arts, then entered into the Air Force as a radio technician, spent time on Christmas Island and was eventually stationed at Stead Air Force Base. He met his wife Gail after a courtship initiated by his daughter, Lisa, and they married celebrating 48 years together. They raised three children, Lisa, Andy (Kelley) and Tim (Emily) and have 6 grandchildren, Jake, Becca, Nick, Lainie, Ulyana, and Irina.
Jim obtained his Bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1969 and went into software engineering. He worked for several engineering firms including Bally's and was one of the earliest employees of IGT. He worked as a computer programmer and retired in 2004.
Jim was an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt, fly fish, shoot, camp and travel with his family. Over the years he built radio control airplanes, was involved in Steelshoot and IPSC competitions (which was his real passion) and thoroughly enjoyed the camaraderie and long term friendships he developed with them. He rarely missed his Monday "dates" with his buddies Al, Ed and Mike at the Carson Shooting Range. Shooting, drinking coffee and telling lies, as he used to say.
Family vacations, camping and spending time with his grandkids were likely his favorite memories. At night around the campfire, he often led a campfire song or told a story. His deep bass voice could bring tears to your eyes. He taught his children and grandchildren the value and peace of the outdoors. Whether camping at Bodega Bay, sitting by the pool in Cabo or hiking the hills in Nevada, he enjoyed spending time in nature.
He was definitely a family man, having passed up many opportunities at promotions in order to be around for his family. He was always quick witted and loved to tell or hear a good corny joke.
The world is dimmer without his light, and he will be greatly missed.
A memorial service honoring his life will be held at Hope Community Church on 755 Trademark Drive in Reno, Nevada on Wednesday, June 18 at 3:30pm.
Truckee Meadows Cremation & Burial
616 S Wells Ave
Reno, NV 89502
Published in Reno Gazette-Journal on June 15, 2014