Paul Elsworth Nelson
Paul Elsworth Nelson, beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather, passed away after a brief illness on March 25, 2021. He was surrounded by his family as he passed peacefully into God’s arms. He was 88 years old. He was born on February 20, 1933 on a farm in rural Newcastle, NE to Glen Nelson and Grace (Hagen) Nelson. He was the oldest of five siblings, and was the last to join his family in heaven. After graduating high school, Paul joined the Navy and went out to San Diego, CA for his basic training. He was then stationed on the USS Bremerton in Korea as a signalman for two years during the Korean War. His favorite memory from that time was standing on the signal tower, and when it was time for the fleet of ships to change direction, he would use flags to signal and the entire fleet would turn. He always got tears in his eyes remembering that vision. He then was stationed in Sasebo, Japan for two years. When Paul was discharged from the Navy, he returned to Southern California where he met his future wife, Billie. They were married for 65 years and raised four daughters who thought the world of their precious Dad.He was one of those rare individuals who could fix anything; from cars to plumbing and electrical. He spent a fair amount of time rescuing his girls when they would have car troubles. Paul worked for 35 years for the Southern California Gas Company (Sempra Energy). He worked his way up from meter reader to claims supervisor. Even though he lived his entire adult life in California, he was always a Nebraska “Cornhusker” at heart. He was also proud of his full-blooded Norwegian ancestry. It was a dream come true when he got to visit the homestead of his ancestors in Norway. He leaves behind many Norwegian relatives. His absolute favorite job was that of “Papa” to six grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Every one of them would agree that he was simply the best. He was the kindest, most caring person; always willing to help out at a moments notice. He had the most infectious laugh, wonderful smile, and a twinkle in those green eyes of his. During the last 20 years he patiently cared for his wife who suffers from worsening dementia. He enjoyed golfing, reading Western novels, and making birdhouses out of wood. Paul is survived by his wife, Billie; daughters Marsha (Arpon) Morales and husband Bob, Pamela (Nelson) Leader and husband, Richard; Kris Nelson; and Kathy Nelson. He is also survived by grandchildren Jeffrey Morales, his wife Jennifer, and their sons Jacob and Jeremiah; Gregory Morales, Brittany Brown and children Emily and Paul; Stefanie Beisner, her husband Steve, and children Amelia and Avery; Sara Leader; and John Leader. Paul will be buried at Riverside National Cemetery. For funeral date and details, please contact the family. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made for the upkeep of Lime Creek Cemetery and Lime Grove Cemetery. These cemeteries are in Nebraska and where many of Paul's family are buried, including both sides of his family who immigrated from Norway. Checks can be made out to "Zion Cemetery Association" and mailed to Kay Maskell, 119 Main Street, Maskell, NE 68751.