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Robert "Bob" Nelson

1937 - 2019 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Robert "Bob" Nelson Obituary
Niantic - Robert "Bob" Nelson passed away Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital surrounded by the comfort of his family. Bob was born August 1937, in New York City and was raised in Cresskill, N.J. He is survived by Penny, his wife of 59 years; his daughter Lori Nelson of Groton; son Dr. John Nelson, his wife Loren and their twins, Christian and Ava of Stonington; and son Jeffrey Nelson and wife Lisa of Groton.

Bob graduated from Tenafly High School in New Jersey in 1955, where he was a star on Tenafly's state championship football team. He was selected to first team all-state. Later, he was inducted into the Tenafly High School Athletic Hall of Fame. In 1959, Bob graduated from Cornell University where he was a member of Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. In later years, he traveled with his fraternity brothers all over the world. They loved singing fraternity and Cornell songs at the top of their lungs.

Bob was proud to serve his country as a second lieutenant in the US Army. He then joined Riegel Paper Corporation as an account executive later being promoted to sales manager. Bob was offered a vice presidency in 1981, but chose to leave the business world to purchase the Bee and Thistle Inn in Old Lyme. There, along with his wife Penny and later Lori and Jeff, he worked to build the Bee and Thistle Inn into one of Connecticut's top country inns and restaurants. It was voted Best Restaurant statewide by the readers of "Connecticut Magazine" for five consecutive years. In his retirement, Bob volunteered at SCORE helping people in the small business community. He also loved volunteering at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center in Old Lyme. For years he chaired the beverage committee for special fundraising events.

Family always came first for Bob. He will be remembered for his devotion to Penny and his deep love of his children and grandchildren.

Bob's family will greet friends from 5 - 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 16, at Thomas L Neilan and Sons East Lyme Funeral Home, 48 Grand Street, Niantic. Burial will be private for the family.

The family would appreciate any remembrances for Bob donated to High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center, 36 Town Woods Road, Old Lyme, 06371. www.neilanfuneralhome.com.
Published in The Day on Apr. 14, 2019
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