Donald P. Nelson
Donald Palmer Nelson, 84, of Pinehurst, died Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2010.
Born Aug. 13, 1926, in Fall River, Mass., Mr. Nelson was preceded in death by his parents, Eric and Lela Palmer Nelson, and sister, Caroline Nelson. He was a loving husband and father of six children, 10 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was the godson of golf course architect Donald Ross. During his life, he was surrounded by famous golfers from around the world including Ben Hogan, Sam Snead, Arnold Palmer, Babe Zacharias and Bobby Jones.
Don had a long history of service and residence in the Pinehurst area. His father was the personal financial assistant to Donald Ross and was an original board member for the FirstHealth Moore Regional Hospital, and is credited with raising the funds for the Given Library and Pinehurst archives. Mr. Nelson began college at the age of 16 years old, interrupted by a two year enlistment in the Navy during World War II. He continued his studies and graduated from Duke University with a business degree in 1948.
Don started his insurance career in Chicago before moving to Hollywood, Fla., where he opened an independent agency. He attended the University of Miami and obtained his CPCU. Mr. Nelson was active in civic organizations serving as past president of the Jaycees, Kiwanis club member, YMCA supporter and member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church and School of Hollywood, Fla. He retired to Pinehurst in 1995 and was invited to join the “Old-timers” of Pinehurst. Don and Joan were past members of the Newcomers Club.
Don was preceded in death by his first wife, Mary Elizabeth Walters, and is survived by his wife of 41 years, Joan Nelson. Children include Richard Nelson and his ex-spouse, Jennifer, and grandchildren, Jeremy and Madison; Sherrie and Trey Cameron, and grandson, Brandon; Eric and Jean Nelson, and grandchildren Elizabeth and Palmer; David and Lee Nelson, and grandsons, Tony and Charlie; Laura and Wayne Davies, and granddaughter, Danielle; Christopher and Ivey Nelson, and grandchildren, Tyler and Olivia.
Donations to FirstHealth Hospice and Palliative Care are appreciated.
A memorial service will held at 2 p.m., Oct. 9, at Our Saviour Lutheran Church in Southern Pines.