John Urbane Nelson


Posted: Friday, September 07, 2007

Former Juneau resident John Urbane Nelson died Sept. 2, 2007, in Portland, Ore. He was 85.

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He was born Oct. 7, 1921, in Naches, Wash., to Frank and Florence (Munson) Nelson.

In 1941, following high school graduation in Naches, he headed to Alaska. In Anchorage, he met and fell in love with Inez Johnson. They were married on Nov. 7, 1942, at the Church of the Open Door. He served in the U.S. Army's 177th Engineer Regiment from 1943 to 1944, when he transferred to the Motor Vehicle Division of the Alaska Communication System, for which he served until his discharge in August 1950.

In the summer 1961, the family moved to Juneau, where he worked for the Alaska Communication System as a civilian.

Later he worked for the Alaska Department of Revenue as a tax auditor, retiring in 1975 in Anchorage from the Alaska Public Utilities Commission as a tariff specialist.

He had an insatiable love of cars, his family said. He enjoyed people and telling stories about his Alaska experiences. He and his wife were members of the Mission Covenant Church for many years and more recently the Church of God.

He is survived by his wife of 64 years; sons, William Nelson, of Houston, John Nelson, of Liberty Township, Ohio, and Dwight "Jack" Nelson, of Gresham, Ore.; daughter, Marilynn Allen, of Tulsa, Okla.; sister, Beth Johnson, of Coweta, Okla.; brother, Horatio Nelson, of Yakima, Wash.; seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday at Gresham Memorial Chapel, 257 SE Roberts Ave., in Gresham. A graveside service will be Monday at Willamette National Cemetery, followed by a memorial service at 1 p.m. at the Lynchwood Church of God, 3818 SE 174th Ave., in Portland.

Contributions may be made in his memory to the Lynchwood Church of God.

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