Leo Cranford Nelson, Sr.
Pensacola - Leo Cranford Nelson, Sr., 98, passed away April 25, 2021. Born February 11, 1923, he was the oldest of 14. Leo so loved his big family and the fact he was from Holley. His glass was always half-full and he never met a stranger. A hoot and a holler, Leo always had a twinkle in his eye and leaves us with memories that put a smile on your face. We were all blessed to have him for so long. To live in hearts we leave behind, is not to die.
He served in the Navy until Pearl Harbor and then in the Merchant Marines. After the war, he retired from Navy Public Works, Civil Service at NAS, Pensacola and was a member of St. Paul's Catholic Church.
Leo was a Hadji Shriner since 1968 and loved driving his Edsel in the Antique Car Unit. In 2019, he was celebrated as being the oldest living Shriner in NW Florida.
He is proceeded in death by his parents, Nels Gustaf & Alma Jordan Nelson, his loving wife of 68 years, Virginia, his sisters Trudell Cobb & Orie Marler, brothers Kenneth & Darrell Nelson, his son-in-law, Bruce Lietzke and grandson, Stephen Lietzke. He is survived by children: Diane Gould (Charlie), Soozi Pate (Jerry), Greg Nelson, Rosemarie Lietzke, Leo Nelson, Jr. (Melissa). Grands: Quint Higdon (Lindsey), Somer Nicole Higdon, Jenni Pate Buckley, Wesley Pate (Courtney), Jamie Pate (Leighton), Alan Nelson (Anna), Sarah Brewer (Troupe), Christine Ablondi (Aaron), Luke & Noah Nelson and 11 great-grands.
His grandsons will be the pallbearers.
As Leo would say, "Keep it down the middle!"
In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Alzheimer's Association
Visitation will be at St. Paul's Catholic Church on 10:00, Monday, May 3rd. Services to follow at 11:00 with a celebration of his life at the Pate home. Bayview Fisher-Pou Chapel, Scenic Highway, is entrusted with the arrangements. Condolences may be offered at www.bayviewfisher-pouchapel.com