"Well done, my good and faithful servant. Come and share your Master's joy." A longtime resident of Baton Rouge, Jim passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, Sept. 18, 2011. He was born in Canton, Ohio, and graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in chemical engineering. After moving to Baton Rouge, he continued his education, earning an MBA from LSU. He was a World War II veteran and received the Purple Heart for wounds incurred during battle. Jim was a devout Catholic and a founding member of St. Thomas More, where he was actively involved in many school and parish ministries. He particularly loved working with youth through the St. Thomas More Athletic Association, CSAL sports, CYO youth and sports groups and American Legion Baseball. Jim retired from Ethyl Corp. and after his retirement his faith was nourished through his long-term commitment as a St. Thomas More Bible Study leader and the coordinator of St. Thomas More Perpetual Adoration. He was an active member of the Metropolitan Serra Club and a devoted Man of Manresa, serving as a retreat captain for many years. Jim treasured the time spent with his family, sharing lifetime stories and attending family gatherings. His grandchildren will always cherish the annual family beach vacations. Survivors include his loving wife of 60 years, Mary; daughters, Kathy McKnight and husband Louis, Tracy Simpson and husband Kevin; sons, the Rev. Thomas More Nelson, O'Praem, Bob Nelson and wife Sue, Mike Nelson and wife Paulette, Doug Nelson and wife Susan, and Rick Nelson; grandchildren, Kelly McCormack and husband Patrick, Ashley Culotta and husband Brad, Lindsey Walton and husband Benji, Kim Jones and husband Kyle, Paige Huggins and husband William, Ben Nelson, Clay McKnight, Amanda Simpson, Jimmy Nelson, Leigh Nelson, Brad Nelson, Julie Nelson, Christopher Simpson, Preston Nelson and Michael Simpson; and great-granddaughter, Anna Kate Walton. Visitation at Rabenhorst Funeral Home East 11000 Florida Blvd., on Monday, Sept. 19, was from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., with a recitation of the rosary at 7:30 p.m. Visiting at St. Thomas More Catholic Church on Tuesday from 10 a.m. until Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m., celebrated by his son, the Rev. Thomas More Nelson, O'Praem. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to STM Excellence Campaign, 11400 Sherbrook Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70815.
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from Sept. 19 to Sept. 20, 2011