WILLIAM E. NELSON, 82 BELVIDERE - William E. Nelson, 82, of Belvidere passed away Thursday August 15, 2013, surrounded by members of his family. "Bill" was born July 23, 1931, in Galesburg, IL, the son of Glen and Eileen (Anderson) Nelson. He graduated from Galesburg High School where he was active in athletics and student government. He was Student Council President as well as serving as a Boys State Representative. Bill graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University in 1950 with a degree in Business and Economics. He was a member and President of Theta Chi Fraternity. After completing his education, Bill served in the U.S. Army as a Company Clerk with the Helicopter Battalion at Ft. Sill, OK. On February 6, 1955, he married Sandra L. Hager in Normal, IL. They raised a family of six children and were married for over 58 years. Before moving to Belvidere, Bill worked as the Physical and Youth Director at the Quincy, IL Y.M.C.A. He was the Executive Director of the Belvidere Y.M.C.A. from October 1967 to May 1991 when he retired. He opened the new building in 1968, and was instrumental in creating many new programs that benefited the community including Y Indian Guides. He was a past President of the Belvidere Rotary Club
and a Paul Harris Fellow. Bill was also a charter member of the Belvidere Y Mens Club. He and his family had been members of First Baptist Church in Belvidere. Bill was a loving husband, devoted father and a caring friend to those who knew him. He cherished family activities and traditions. He was considered a valuable asset to his community. He will be truly missed. Survivors include his wife and children, Sandra L. Nelson; children, Elisabeth (Phillip) Rives of Rockford, Deborah Nelson of Rockford, Cynthia (George) Kasnoff of Fountain Hills, AZ, Lawrence Nelson of Belvidere, Kathryn (Henry) Surles of Lebanon, Oregon and Anna (Daniel) Hyland of Ballwin, MO. Grandchildren include Kinsey, Ashley, Lerin, Stephanie, Tanner, Christopher and Cooper. He is also survived by his brother, Richard (Shirley) Nelson of Springfield, IL. He is preceded in death by his parents. Funeral service is at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 21, 2013, at Belvidere Funeral Home, with Warren Emry presiding. Visitation will take place prior to the service beginning at 11 a.m. Interment following the service at Belvidere Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to Autism Speaks, Inc. in honor of William's grandson.