News for those who live, work and play in the Santiam Canyon

In Memoriam: Donald Nelson (Jan. 31, 1929 – Nov. 7, 2022)

Donald Lee Nelson, 93, died Nov 7, 2022. He was born Jan. 31, 1929, on the eve of the Great Depression, to Herman and Mattie Merle (Tipps) Nelson.

He grew up in Burbank, California, during the Golden Age of movies. He joined the US Army during World War II, and was sent overseas to serve in occupied Japan.  After the war, Don began his career in construction, eventually becoming a contractor. 

In the 1950s, Don married Leta Wolf. They had three children, Cynthia, Donna and Scott. 

Don and “second mate” Teresa Miller shared lots of good times. Together they had a daughter, Christie. 

His “third mate” Avis Arnold brought Nancy, Leslie, Mike and Eric Drushella into the family. 

He was Dad to his eight children and their spouses, and Saba or Grandpa to a herd of grandchildren and great grandchildren. 

Don lived life to the fullest. He loved his large blended family, travel adventures and playing blackjack, and never missed an opportunity to combine the three. Don left his family a legacy of great memories.

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