Neil Nelson of La Quinta died on October 2, 2011 at John F. Kennedy Memorial Hospital in Indio after suffering a stroke. Neil was a quiet, gentle, loving soul who will be greatly missed by his family and friends. Neil Andrew Nelson was born on March 31, 1955, in Springfield, N.J. to Andrew and Myra Nelson. In his childhood, Neil developed two lifelong passions—his love for animals and for cars and car racing. One of the high points of his life occurred when, as a child, he had an opportunity to ride with racing legend Mario Andretti. Partly inspired by that experience, Neil raced cars himself for a time. In 1980 Neil moved from New Jersey to La Quinta, where his parents by then resided. He became a skilled auto mechanic; several mechanics trained by Neil are still working in this area. He also worked for a time as an appliance repairman for Sears. After his father's death in 1996, Neil became his mother's caretaker. He continued to provide loving and devoted care for his mother until her recent death. Neil is survived by his beloved son, Andy, also of La Quinta; and granddaughters, Angela and Amayah; as well as his brother, Drew Nelson of San Carlos, Calif.; and his sister, Marla Nelson Hutchins; and nephew, Grant Hutchins, both of Glendale, Calif. Funeral services will be private.
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Published in The Desert Sun on Oct. 14, 2011