July 4,1929-August 30,2014
Nelson passed away August 30 in Santa Barbara surrounded by his family. Nelson was born on the Fourth of July in Birmingham Alabama. He came from humble beginnings working in cotton fields and steel mills. He was the pride of his entire family as both a standout athlete and scholar. He was all state in 3 sports and was offered a football scholarship to Wake Forest. He continued his love of sports throughout his life, and was an avid UCLA and Angel fan. However his favorite teams were his grandson's soccer, football and baseball teams. He never missed a game if he could help it and traveled great distances to see his boys play.
He joined the air force during the Korean War and met his love and future wife, Joanne at McClellan Air Force Base. He went on to attend UCLA while tirelessly working two jobs.
He was a man of enormous talent in mathematics, software design, and trouble shooting. Nelson spent his career working at Litton and Raytheon working on many important and successful programs. His work took him throughout the world. He was highly regarded among his peers and called upon time and time again to resolve seemingly unsolvable problems. He had an incredibly strong work ethic that few could match.
Upon his retirement, Nelson spent many years volunteering as a math tutor at Harding Elementary School which he so enjoyed.
Nelson from an early age was always taking care of his loved ones continuously putting others before himself. He was truly an honorable, loving, caring, generous, just, and selfless man. There was never a better man.
Above all, family was everything to him. He treasured time spent with family. He so looked forward to taking his entire family on the annual Catalina Island Vacation, where he would fish and play poker with his grandsons. Nelson loved his family birthday celebrations on the beach and anytime his family was all together. His complete and utter devotion to his wife Joanne set him apart from many. There was nothing he would not do for family or friends. We were so blessed to have such an extraordinary man in our lives. This wonderful man is survived by Joanne his wife of 61 years, his daughters Shelley and Kerry, son in law Joe, grandsons Christopher, Ryan, Curtis, and Kevin. You are forever in our hearts.
Services to be held at Santa Barbara Cemetery on Monday September 8th, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. Arrangements entrusted to McDermott-Crockett Mortuary.