On Sunday, June 9, 2013, Donald Russell Nelson, 74, left behind his poor health and cancer-stricken body for a continued and glorious life with Jesus. Don passed away at home under the care of his loving wife, Meryl, family, friends and OneSource Hospice.
Don was born Aug. 21, 1938, in Idaho Falls to Dale E. Nelson and Olive Marty Mortensen Nelson. He grew up in Idaho Falls and graduated from Idaho Falls High School. He attended college at the University of Idaho.
Don worked for Pickett Nelson Construction as a heavy equipment operator, and later decided to further his life as a firefighter. He worked for the Idaho Falls Fire Department for 30 years and retired at the age of 57, a captain and a hero.
On March 31, 1972, he married the love of his life, Meryl Lorae Hutchison, and built a life together in Iona.
After retiring, Don enjoyed spending time with his wife and No. 1 golf partner, Meryl, his family and friends and pursuing his favorite pastime, golf. Don enjoyed "working" as a part- time greenskeeper at Jefferson Hills Golf Course and eventually (after a lot of convincing by Meryl) began attending Calvary Chapel, where his relationship with Jesus grew stronger and stronger every day.
Survivors include his wife, Meryl; sister, Deanna (Bob) Judd; his children, Tom (Veran) Nelson, Therese Williams, Judy (Don) Baker, Debbie (Steve) Headlee and Candice (Frank) Ireland; 19 grandchildren; and 17 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his son, Terry, and his brother, Bill.
A celebration of Don's life will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 13, at Calvary Chapel of Idaho Falls, 4250 S. 25th East, with Pastor Rick Brown officiating. The family will visit with friends from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m. Thursday at Calvary Chapel. Burial will be in Archer-Sutton Cemetery.
The family requests that donations be made to Calvary Chapel, 4250 S. 25th East, Idaho Falls, ID 83401.
Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.woodfuneralhome.com.