Byron Brightwell Nelson, Jr. of Union Grove, Alabama passed away on April 8, 2021. Byron was born on December 2, 1934 to Byron B. Nelson, Sr. and Frances Seay Nelson, who preceded him in death. He has one sister, Marie Nelson Fancher. Byron is survived by his wife of 56 years, Carolyn Liles Nelson; two children Anna Nelson Richardson (David), Amy Nelson Torbert (Mark), and two grandchildren Mary Frances Torbert and Mark Torbert, Jr. Byron attended Tallassee High School graduating in 1953. Receiving a Congressional appointment to the United States Naval Academy in 1954. A football injury his plebe year led to his transfer to Auburn University where he received a BS in Education in 1957 and was commissioned a 2nd Lt in the US Army. In 1959, he received a MS in Education from Auburn University. After leaving the Army, he taught in Wetumpka, Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama prior to attending Peabody College at Vanderbilt University on a Ford Foundation Fellowship where he earned an EdD in school administration. He returned to Alabama in 1971 as superintendent of the Arab City Schools for 3 years before serving as superintendent in Decatur, Alabama for 17 years and in Homewood, Alabama for 6 years. In 1984 The Executive Educator magazine named Byron one of the 100 top executive educators in North America. In 1994 he was inducted into the Alabama Educational Leadership Hall of Fame. Byron was active with the Auburn University Alumni Association as well as the Auburn University School of Education. He was District Governor for Rotary International District 6860 in 1984-85 and member of the Arab Rotary Club. He received the Silver Beaver scouting award while serving on the Tennessee Valley Boy Scout Council. Byron was a member of the Arab First United Methodist Church. Memorial Service will be 2:00 p.m. Sunday, April 11, 2021, at the Arab First United Methodist Church. Gober Funeral Chapel assisted the Nelson family with arrangements. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Byron's name to the Arab First United Methodist Church or the Rotary Foundation.
Published in The Birmingham News from Apr. 9 to Apr. 11, 2021.