Don Nelson left us on March 3, 2013 after finally feeling sure that his family, friends, and planet were well taken-care of. That’s what he did. He died peacefully at age 90 in Fairfield.
Don was born and raised on a farm in South Dakota, where he survived the depression, dust bowl, and joined the army in 1941, serving as a staff sergeant in the Pacific. He had been scheduled for the invasion of Japan.
After the war Don went to the Omaha Art School, where he met his wife, Blanche, and then the Los Angeles Art Institute, after which he moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, and worked for the US Soil Conservation Service, making maps, and illustrating and designing brochures and displays, to promote soil and water conservation techniques and knowledge. Ultimately he became the top artist in SCS. He said protecting the land and water was his mission in life, and was very proud of this work.
Don and Blanche retired to Fairfield in 1987. Along the way, he helped raise two children, Brandon and Donna Nelson, both living in Fairfield, and 4 grandchildren, Eric, Elise, Olin, and Alina, who were all raised in Fairfield, all of whom survive him and remember him as the most consistent helping and loving hand in their lives.
Services will be held Thursday, March 7 at Behner Funeral Home, Fairfield, at 7:30 pm. Visitation starts at 7:00. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to arborday.org, select Membership, and Trees in Memory.