Howard P. Nelson, a 31 year resident of Orange, passed away on Dec. 25. His service will be held in the Slade Chapel of the Orange First United Methodist Church at 11:00 am Tuesday, Dec. 29. His son-in-law, the Rev. Michael L. Fraley and the Rev. John Warren will be presiding. He will be interred in Highland Memory Gardens Cemetery in Lake Charles, La. Visitation will be held on Monday from 5:00-7:00 pm at Claybar Funeral Home Orange.
Mr. Nelson was predeceased by his parents and his daughter, Lisa Nelson Fraley.
He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Billie Jo (Nelson) Nelson; sons, Mark H. Nelson and his wife Susan, Erik J. Nelson and his wife Jennifer and son-in-law, the Rev. Michael L. Fraley. The eight cherished grandchildren are: James McKinley, William McKinley, Andrew Nelson, Sam Fraley, Madeleine Nelson, Jillian Nelson, Sylvia Nelson and Lawson Nelson. Also surviving is his sister-in-law, Helen Nelson, one nephew and three nieces.
Howard was born on April 12, 1930, in Fort Worth, and was the son of Wyly D. and Frances S. Nelson. His early years were spent in various locations where his father worked as a Sugar Engineer, ending up in the early 1940’s in Lake Charles. He achieved the status of “Eagle Scout” while a member of Troop V at First Methodist Church, Lake Charles.
Howard graduated from Lake Charles High School in 1947, from McNeese Jr. College in 1949 and he received a Bachelor of Engineering degree from L.S.U. in 1952. At L.S.U. he was a “Distinguished Military Student” receiving a Commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. During the Korean War, he served in France, being promoted to 1st Lieutenant while serving as Company Commander of the 478th Engineer Dump Truck Company.
After he and his wife returned to Lake Charles, he worked as a Chemical Engineer for P.P.G. and in the position of both Safety and Training Directors. Some 12 years later, he and his brother-in-law, Jack Nelson, founded Nelson Dodge, an automobile and heavy truck dealership. In his later years, he worked as sales manager for the B.B.B of Southeast Texas. During this period, he became a Mediator with the Dispute Resolution Center of Jefferson County. Mr. Nelson was always active in the Methodist Church. As a young man, he was chosen to represent the Methodist men of First United Methodist Church, Lake Charles, to the National Conference at Purdue University. He served on the Lay Advisory Board of Perkins School of Theology at S.M.U. in the 70’s. At University U.M.C. in Lake Charles, he served as an Administrative Board Chairman, Finance Committee Chair and as Pastor-Parish Relations Chair. At Orange First United Methodist Church, he served as the head of one of the Usher Teams and as President of the Men’s Bible Class, which he dearly loved and never missed.
Professional and recreational affiliations included American Institute of Chemical Engineers, American Society of Training Directors, American Institute of Safety Engineers, National Safety Council, Greater L.C Rotary Club, Ducks Unlimited, AARP, and the L.S.U. Alumni Association.
He dearly loved his family, his church, duck hunting, playing bridge, dancing and listening to big band music.
Memorials may be made to First United Methodist Church, Orange.