Home
Resources
More Obituaries for Richard Nelson
Looking for an obituary for a different person with this name?

Richard P. ("Dick") Nelson

Richard P. ("Dick") Nelson Obituary
Richard ("Dick") P. Nelson

The family of Richard P. "Dick" Nelson, a lifelong civic activist and former Washington State Legislator, is sad to announce that Dick passed away peacefully on June 3, 2019 after a brief illness. He was 83 years old.

Dick was born in Seattle. He has one surviving brother, Lloyd Nelson, and eight nieces and nephews, Mark Tollfeldt, Bob /Jenny Nelson, Kathryn / Jim Apolito, Eric / Jackie Tollfeldt, Dave/Claire Tollfeldt, Sue Nelson, Tina Baker, Laurie/Kaare Otness, 8 great nieces and nephews, and 7 great-great nieces and nephews. His parents, Andrew and Annie Nelson, and siblings, Eric and Will Nelson, and Anne Tollfeldt, predeceased him. His family is of Swedish descent, which he celebrated regularly through Scandinavian dance, music, food and association with family and the local Nordic community.

Dick was a well-educated and enthusiastic policy researcher who felt it was his responsibility to contribute to a better world. He received a B.S. in Engineering from the University of Washington and a Sc.D. (Materials Science / Physics) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His professional career began with working as a nuclear engineer at Hanford in the Tri-Cities, but a heart-felt reaction to injustices and environmental dangers he saw in the early 1970s led him to political activism, public service and back to Seattle.

From 1977 through 1992, Dick served as a Washington State Representative from the Wallingford, Fremont, and Ballard areas. He chaired the Energy and Utilities, Housing, and Joint Telecommunication committees, and served on the Transportation and Local Government committees. Dick was a co-sponsor of the 1990 Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) and was a member of the committee that prepared the GMA's 1991 amendments. He also co-authored successful legislation that addressed state transportation planning, establishment of Sound Transit, incentives for use of public transportation, and transportation demand management.

Dick's activism was informed by historical and social movements including civil rights, world peace, the nuclear weapons threat, and environmental protection. At his passing, Dick was president and senior researcher at Integrated Transport Research, a nonprofit he founded in 1993. He specialized in transportation, land use, and telecommunications research, planning, and policy development. He was appointed Senior Fellow for Urban Growth and Transportation at the Center for the New West and Research Associate at the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University. He was recently working with many others in the community on proposals to make Washington State's tax system less regressive. Over his career he was a member of numerous state and local boards, commissions and advisory committees.

Dick was a dedicated and humble civic servant who put people first. He will be greatly missed by

family, friends and colleagues.

The family would like to celebrate Dick's life with you on

June 26 at The Swedish Club, from 11:00am until 2:30pm.

Remembrances to further Dick's causes may be sent to Planned Parenthood Northwest, Family Works, Zero Waste Washington and Giffords-The courage to fight gun violence.

Sign Dick's online

Guest Book at www.Legacy.com
Published in The Seattle Times on June 16, 2019
Read More
Give others a chance to express condolences. Not right now.