Owen B. Nelson III(1940 - 2013)

Owen B. Nelson III April 1, 1940 - June 25, 2013 Owen B. Nelson III, age 73, of Bakersfield, California, passed away peacefully at home on June 25, 2013. Owen was born on April 1, 1940 in Modesto, California, to Owen and Oline Nelson. At the age of 2, Owen, his parents and sister Anna Marie, moved to Bakersfield. Younger sister Kristie completed the family after the move to Bakersfield. Owen attended Franklin Elementary School, Emerson Junior High, and East Bakersfield High School. Owen loved many sports, but swimming was his favorite. He spoke of the team running from East High to the Jefferson Park pool to work out in that unheated pool, in the winter time. Owen served in the U.S. Army at the Fulda Army base in Germany, as an M.P. from 1961-1963. Owen attended Bakersfield College and Bethany Lutheran College in Lindsborg, Kansas. At Bethany, Owen loved playing football and training to become an elementary school teacher. On a June night in Kansas in 1968, complete with tornado warnings, drenching rain, lightning and thunder, Owen and fiancee Jane Workman were married at Faith Lutheran Church in Prairie Village, Kansas. A 45th anniversary was celebrated on June 14, 2013. Owen began his teaching career for the Bakersfield City School District in January of 1968. Over a 27 year career he taught at Curran Junior High and Col. Nichols Elementary. He inspired his students and loved the creative aspects of teaching. For thirty years, Owen coached young swimmers in Bakersfield. He coached at Beale and Jefferson Parks, Bakersfield Swim Club, West High School, Golden Empire Swim Team, and Park Stockdale Swim Team. He coached hundreds of young swimmers, including his own three children, with great success. Owen especially loved gardening, camping, Western novels, family celebrations, and trips to the Central Coast. Owen is survived by his wife, Jane; his children, Brooke Nelson Martino and husband Jason of Bothell, Washington, Lang Nelson of Bakersfield, and Ben Nelson of Bakersfield. He is also survived by sister, Anna Marie Calderwood and husband Larry of Placerville, California; sister, Kristie Coons and husband Bob of Bakersfield; nieces, Carrie Harvey and husband Julian, Kaaren Ramsey and husband Keith; nephews, Christian Coons, and James Perry and wife Cheri; brother-in-law, David Workman and wife Gail. A memorial service will be held at Emmanuel Lutheran Church (1900 Baker Street) on July 6, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. Memorial donations may be made to Emmanuel Lutheran Church. Thank you to Pastor Valerie Carlson and all who have been so supportive at this time. Basham-Anspach Funeral Care 861-8200 www.bakersfield.com/obits

Published in Bakersfield Californian on July 3, 2013