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MICHAEL J. "MIKE" NELSON

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Michael "Mike" J. Nelson Michael J. Nelson passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Friday May 13, 2011. Mike, along with his twin brother, John was born in Ridgewood, Queens, NY January 25, 1924. He grew up playing stick ball in the streets of Queens and trading newspapers for donuts. He graduated from John Adams High School in Ozone Park, Queens, New York in 1941. For a time he attended Columbia University. He worked for Wah Chang Corp, a Chinese metals trading company in New York City before training at the United States Merchant Marine School in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. In 1944 he received a commission as Ensign in the U.S. Merchant Marines while turning down an invitation to the Brooklyn Dodgers training camp. His World War II service included participation in the invasion of Normandy. Three years ago he and his wife Pat visited that site and returned home with even more great stories of his days served as a United States Merchant Marine. Following the war, Mike resumed his work at Wah Change (1946-58) and took up playing semi pro ball for the Richmond Hill Dodgers. A fun little story here is that in 1938 at the ripe old age of 14 a Queens Newspaper billed him the "darling" of Richmond Hill fans as the youngest baseball manager in the country. Yes. Mike, like the history of his life, was the "take-charge" guy at the ripe old age of 14! In 1946 he married "the girl next door", Dorothy "Dot" Rollins. They lived in Levittown, New York and later East Meadows, NY. In 1958, Mike started his own metals trading company, Metronics, but was soon recruited by the Fred H. Lenway Co. and in 1961 Mike and his family moved to Terra Linda, California to work in the San Francisco office on California Street. Following the death of Mr. Lenway in 1973, he ran the company as a subsidiary of several parent companies until 1982 when he founded his current company, Trans-Global Resources, Inc. in Novato, California. His work and innovation in the metals industry earned him the title "Mr. Tungsten". He was awarded "Vendor of the Year" in 2003 and 2007 by Sylvania and Allegheny Technologies respectively. Mike was a pillar of the Catholic Church not only in the Archdiocese of San Francisco but throughout the Bay Area and the entire country. Parishes and Catholic organizations were the frequent recipients of his extraordinary generosity: Our Lady of Loretto, St. Isabella's, Sacred Heart Olema, St Mary's Nicasio, St. Cecilia's, Lagunitas, St. Anselm's, St. Rita's, St. Hilary's, The Knights of Columbus, The Archbishop's Ring of Charity, St. Mary's College, Moraga, Hanna Boys Center, The Marist Fathers, The Dominican Sisters of san Rafael, The Jesuits, and many, many, many others. Marin Catholic High School was a very special beneficiary of Mike's generosity. Over the year's Mike was a founding member of the school's Principal's Club, a member of the President's Club, the Booster organization, and every fundraising event in the school's history! He will be missed roaming the sidelines at Marin Catholic Football games and in the baseball stands yelling at umpires. Mike and Dorothy moved to Novato in 1978. After Dorothy's death in 1986, he later married Patricia Corwin. For a time they resided in Nicasio before returning to Novato. He owned the Olema Farmhouse and Deli in Olema for a number of years. He remained an active member of Sacred Heart Church in Olema. Mike will be remembered by countless people for his quick wit, wonderful stories, many parties, and extreme generosity. He was inducted into the Marin Catholic Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008 and received countless awards and recognition from other athletic organizations and schools throughout the County of Marin. He was predeceased by his Father Michael, Mother, Madeline, brother, Bernard, and his sisters, Agnes and Muriel. He is survived by his wife, Patricia of 18 years, his twin brother, John, and his sister Eleanor, his son Tom (Jean), daughter Susan, four grandchildren Lauren, Mark, Tony and Alex, two stepsons, Craig (Jennifer), and Kyle, and four great grandchildren. A viewing will be available Friday, May 20th, 6:00-7 PM at St. Vincent's in Marinwood, A rosary service will be held at 7:00 PM. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at St. Vincent's at 10:00 AM, Saturday, May 21st with interment to follow at Valley Memorial Park, Novato. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael J. Nelson Foundation, 10 Commercial Blvd., Ste 206, Novato, CA 94949. Arrangements under the direction of Monte's Chapel of the Hill, San Anselmo, California
Published in Marin Independent Journal from May 18 to May 20, 2011
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