Philip Alfred Nelson
Philip Alfred Nelson passed away at home in Thousand Palms, Calif. on July 15, 2013 following a brief illness. Philip was born on August 13, 1928 on the family homestead in Ft. Ransom, N.D. He was the fourth of five children, and grew up farming the family farm. At one time he also worked at his mom's restaurant in Fort. He enlisted in the Army in 1947, and was granted an honorable discharge in 1948. In September of 1949, he married his sweetheart Thelma Marie Slattum, also of Fort Ransom, N.D. They celebrated their 63rd wedding anniversary in 2012. When asked once why their marriage had lasted so long, Phil replied, "We never thought it would end." In 1950, Phil and Thelma loaded up their belongings and drove to Seattle, Washington with friends. They lived and worked in the Seattle area for the next 20 years. Phil worked at Boeing and Holaday Parks, Inc. During this time their three children were born: Michael, Catherine and Diane. In 1970, Phil fulfilled a lifelong dream when he moved his family to Fairbanks, Alaska. He continued working for Holaday Parks, Inc., managing the Alaska operations. The family was also active in Fairbanks Lutheran Church, where Phil and Thelma spent many hours volunteering. In 1990, Phil and Thelma retired, and after three years of traveling in their motor home, they settled in Thousand Palms, Calif. They joined St. John's Lutheran Church once permanent residents of the area. Phil was an active member of the Tri-Palms Men's Club. Phil is survived by his older brother, Emmit, his wife of 63 years, Thelma, children Michael (Debra), Catherine, Diane Aslam (Zafar), grandsons Brandon (Breann), Benjamin (Virginia), Tariq, and great-grandson Oliver. A celebration of life will be held at a later time.
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Published in The Desert Sun on July 24, 2013