William F. (Bill) Nelson, of Roanoke, formerly of Lexington, died February 17, 2013, after a three month battle with pancreatitis. Bill was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1924. He is the son of Swedish immigrants Axel and Alma Nelson. He served in the United States Navy during World War II on the aircraft carrier USS Intrepid in the South Pacific, and graduated from Yale University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.
Bill is survived by his wife of 63 years, Eleanore Nelson, and by his brother, Robert Nelson of Sunapee, N.H. He is predeceased by his sister, Dorothy Thorne, of Farmington, Conn.
He is survived by his children, Mark Nelson and wife, Elaine Nelson, of Lexington; Scott Nelson and wife, Susan Miley Nelson, of Blacksburg, and daughter, Leslie Herman and husband, the Rev. John Herman, of Greenbackville; six grandchildren, Isaac Nelson, of New York, N.Y., Kristin Langholz and husband, Samuel, of Ankeny, Iowa, Catherine Hesh and husband, Scott, of Greenbackville, Benjamin Nelson and Grey Nelson, both of Asheville, N.C., and William Nelson, of Lexington; and three great-grandchildren, Andrew and Adam Langholz and Karla Hesh.
Bill was a life-long devoted Lutheran. He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Roanoke, and a former member of Good Shepherd Lutheran in Lexington. After retirement from Burlington Industries, he was a tireless community volunteer. Right to the end, Bill showed his courage, wisdom, piercing intellect, wry wit, and above all his immense love and care for his people.
A memorial service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Roanoke on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at 2 p.m. Burial will be at a private family ceremony in West Hartford, Conn., alongside his parents.
The family requests that instead of flowers, Bill's life be honored through memorial contributions to Trinity Lutheran Church, 4040 Williamson Road, Roanoke VA 24012, or to Evangelical Lutheran Church in America-God's Global Barnyard, P.O. Box 71764, Chicago, IL 60694 (www.elca.org/goodgifts
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Published by Roanoke Times on Feb. 24, 2013.