Daniel Dan Loren Nelson passed away August 25th, 2020 in his Washington home surrounded by loved ones after a long battle with cancer. Dan was born November 15, 1943 to Loren Albert Nelson and Esther Elizabeth Seefeld of Albany, Oregon. He had one older sister, Patricia, who preceded him in death. Dan grew up on a 120-acre farm in the beautiful Willamette Valley in Oregon. He graduated from Albany Union High in 1961 and began his college career the fall of the same year at the University of Oregon in Eugene, majoring in physics. During his time as an undergraduate he played drums in various UO bands, was president of his fraternity house, Campbell Club (where he made many lifelong friends), and spent summers working for the U.S. Forest Service. In 1968, he completed his Masters degree in mechanical engineering at Oregon State University and moved to Los Angeles to begin working at Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN) doing consulting and research in acoustics and vibration. The fall of 1969 Dan moved to Cambridge, MA where he began working on his PhD in mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), while still working at BBN. He completed his PhD in 1975 and continued his career at BBN, that would last until his retirement in 2010. Taking on an administrative role at BBN lead him to complete the MIT Sloan School of Management program in 1985. His work primarily involved acoustics and vibration in ships and boats, and took him all over the world to most of Western Europe, Canada, Japan, Argentina, and more. He served on NATO and the National Research Council committees dealing with issues involving underwater sound and vibration and the potential impact on marine mammals. In 1973, Dan met Linda Grey while they were both working at BBN, and they married in the winter of 1976. Their marriage lasted 33 years, until she passed away in March 2009. Dan and Linda had no children of their own however they had a cherished large extended family. After his retirement, he continued to do consulting work as a Chief Engineer for TechRep Services. He returned to the West Coast in 2012, and connected with many of his UO friends. He spent much of his time working on home projects, listening to his favorite music, taking day trips throughout Oregon and Washington with his partner Dee, and watching his beloved Oregon Ducks football with his dachshund, Gabor. Dan will be remembered for his brilliant mind, love of friends and family, generosity, and exquisite sense of humor. He touched many lives and will be missed by all. He is survived by many nieces and nephews, his brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Peter and Kathy Grey, sister-in-law, Dorothy Grey and his partner Dee and her two children. Dan was preceded in death by his brothers-in-law, Anthony and Stephen Grey. A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, October 24th from 9am to 11am at Devitos Funeral Home, 1145 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476. Following the service, an interment of ashes will be held at 12pm Saturday, October 24th at Puritan Lawn Memorial Park, 185 Lake St, Peabody, MA 01960.
Published in The Arlington Advocate from Oct. 15 to Oct. 29, 2020.