Richard Charles Nelson passed away peacefully on November 11, 2020 at the age of 96. He was the loving husband of Doris Nelson, age 97. They shared 67 years of love and companionship together.
Born in Randolph, Nebraska, Richard (Dick) was the son of Alfred and Efia Nelson. Dick and his brother Don developed a lifelong love of cars as they grew up around their father Alfred’s Chevrolet dealership. Dick was drafted at 18 during World War II. During his time in the 102nd
Infantry Division, Dick landed in France and was in combat in the Netherlands and Germany.
After his service, Dick attended the University of Nebraska where he graduated with a degree in Engineering. He completed further studies in Chemical Engineering at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. Dick initially worked for the General Electric Company in their General Engineering Lab, but quickly transferred to the Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory in Niskayuna, New York. There, Dick was proud to have the opportunity to work on the innovative nuclear powered USS Skipjack submarine as well as other cutting edge nuclear projects. Later in his 33 year career with General Electric, Dick was involved in the licensing of various nuclear reactors around the United States, including Diablo Canyon, the only nuclear power plant currently operating in California.
Upon his retirement, Dick continued to enjoy living in the Santa Cruz Mountains. He was an active member of the Sons In Retirement (SIRS) where he enjoyed the fellowship of weekly meetings. He and Doris also traveled extensively with his SIRS group. One of his favorite trips was a cruise through the Panama Canal, where he appreciated the engineering of the intricate lock system. Throughout his life, Dick enjoyed the ocean and sailing. He was never afraid to take on a project, building a sailboat and an RV in his garage. Dick enjoyed camping at Silver Lake with his family each summer. He was well known for his delicious waffles and pancakes. His famous recipe will continue to be used for generations in his family. He was a loving father and grandfather.
Dick is survived by his wife Doris Nelson, his sons, Richard and Randal (Michelle), daughter, Kristen (Stan), five grandchildren: Nicole, Lisa, Scott, Brittany and Kaitlyn, and three great grandchildren: Brayden, Georgia and Carter, with another great grandchild on the way in February. Dick was predeceased by his brother, Donald.
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