Irving J. "Bud" Nelson, in his usual graceful way, succumbed to bone cancer in his home on June 20, 2010, surrounded by family members. Now, he's off to a new adventure!
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Bud was born in Outlook, Mont., on Oct. 17, 1928, to Hazel and John Nelson. He was the youngest of six children, born after Reuben, Wallace, Fran, and his twin sisters Nita and Rita.
As a young man, he loved working with horses and the time he spent as a trail guide for the Bar X Ranch near Glacier National Park. His interest in horses, ranches and western films lasted throughout his life.
After serving for two years as a Marine and graduating from Montana State University in Bozeman, Bud worked for the Soil Conservation Service in Hot Springs, Conrad, Glasgow, Butte and Bozeman. He especially enjoyed the Resource Conservation and Development program and his relationships with farmers, ranchers and the communities of western and central Montana.
Bud retired from the SCS in 1983 and then spent several years as a realtor before helping his good friend, James Robertson, as general manager of his McAllister ranch. He was also an active volunteer, making numerous contributions to the communities in which he lived.
Bud's greatest joy was spending time with his family. He also enjoyed gardening, reading, collecting coins and stamps, and rooting for the Bobcats and the Boston Celtics. He had a great sense of humor, infinite patience and unparalleled integrity. He had a wonderful smile and warm words for everyone. He was an inspiration to all who knew him. Carrots grew bigger and onions were sweeter just because Bud planted them.
Bud is survived by his loving wife, Jessie Nelson; one brother, Reuben; four children, Gwen Gatzemeier of Billings, Gail (Tim) Piegat of Plano, Texas, Glenn (Becky) Nelson of Helena, Grant (Lori) Nelson of Butte; and Jessie's seven children. Also, 25 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be held at Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service on Friday, June 25, from 9 to 11 a.m., with a memorial service following at 1 p.m.
If you wish to make donations in memory of Bud, please make them to the Bozeman Deaconess Hospice Program, 1600 Ellis St., Bozeman, MT 59715.
Arrangements are in the care of Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service; www.dokkennelson.com.
Dokken-Nelson Funeral Service
113 South Willson Avenue
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on June 23, 2010