Cover photo for Donald William Nelson's Obituary
Donald William Nelson Profile Photo
1940 Donald 2022

Donald William Nelson

June 6, 1940 — March 26, 2022

Donald “Don” Nelson passed away on March 26, 2022 at the age of 81. He spent his last hours in his daughter Betsy’s home, holding her hand.  

Don was born to the late Lee & Ann Nelson in Neenah, WI on June 6, 1940. He grew up in his hometown of Menasha, Wisconsin with his four siblings. A graduate from Menasha High School, he continued his education at Arizona State University on a basketball scholarship. He earned his degree in Architectural Engineering in 1964. He loved to reminisce about his younger years playing basketball and he kept up with the sport throughout his life. 

Don is preceded in death by his loving wife Janette “Jan” Nelson. They were married in Santa Barbara, California on October 8, 1994, and settled in Ventura, California where they would regularly western line dance. Don and Jan later left California to build their dream log cabin in Heber, Utah. In 2006 they made the move to the Fox Cities, Wisconsin, before finally retiring in St. George, Utah where they made many close friends. Their final move would take them back to Wisconsin to be cared for by their daughter Betsy, husband Wayne, and two grandsons Ethan and Ashton.  

Don is also lovingly remembered by his other children: Kenneth Nelson (Brittany), Angela Berke, Jeff Long, Amelia Kluss (Phil), Jason Long (Megan), and Jeremy Long (Caitlin). He was the very proud grandpa of fifteen beautiful grandchildren. Don is preceded in death by his sister Suzie Tagavilla and survived by his other siblings Peggy Griesbach (Ron), Dennis Nelson (Nancy), Larry Nelson (Patty), Betty Richardson (Brett), and Carla Johnson. 

Anyone who knew Don was touched by his kindness, great sense of humor (his dad jokes will be missed), and calm demeanor. He loved golf, fishing, and time spent with his family. He led by great example, his love of Jesus Christ always shining through. He was a faithful member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, sealed to the love of his life, Jan, in the Los Angeles California Temple. After her death in 2020 he often talked about the day he would be reunited with her. We can only imagine what a beautiful moment that was. 

Dad, you will be greatly missed here on earth by so many. Personally, I will miss your warm smile, the sound of your laughter, and your great big heart. It was a privilege being your daughter and an honor to care for you and Jan. Our home just isn’t the same without you. Until we meet again, we will cherish all the wonderful memories we have.

A private burial will be held at Spanish Fork Cemetery in Spanish Fork Utah.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund will be established with donations being used by the family to help fund juvenile diabetes research.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Donald William Nelson, please visit our flower store.

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