Kenneth Nelson, 65Published 4:59pm Sunday, August 19, 2012
Born: April 25, 1947
Died: May 4, 2012
Kenneth Wayne Nelson, 65, of Sun Prairie, Wisc., and formerly of Niles, died Friday, May 4, 2012, following a year-long battle with pancreatic cancer.
He was born on April 25, 1947, in McKenzie, Tenn., to Lucian Ervin and Dovie Marie (Craig) Nelson. He graduated from Niles High School in 1965 with honors, winning the Simplicity Pattern Company Scholarship. He earned his Mechanical Engineering degree from the University of Michigan, and Masters of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame, both with honors.
Ken’s entire career was engineering for off-highway vehicle manufacturing, enjoying problem-solving, and exhibiting an unparalleled work ethic. He was first employed at Clark Equipment in Buchanan for nineteen years, continued at Rockwell, Case/CNH, TUG, Husqvarna, and Lift Technologies; and was last at Columbia Par Car, a division of Seats, Inc. in Reedsburg, Wisc. In Niles, Ken was active in the fast pitch softball leagues as player, manager and umpire. He has also participated in racquetball, tennis, and boating and enjoyed the fellowship of chess, bridge, pinochle and euchre. He also enjoyed taking extended family trips. including cruises, and while
working in France, enjoyed trips throughout Europe.
On June 22, 1968, in Niles, he married the former Jamie Rainelle Gillentine, with whom he celebrated the 43rd anniversary of their wedding.
He is survived by his wife, Jamie Nelson; and by their children, Amanda (Jason) Dean of Sun Prairie, Brandon Nelson of Seneca, S.C., and Beau Nelson, also of Seneca; two-year-old grandson, Evan Michael Dean of Sun Prairie; Ken’s mother, Dovie Marie Nelson, of Dresden, Tenn.; Ken’s
brothers and sisters, Rick (Debbie) Nelson, Greg Nelson, Jim Nelson, Debbie (Bob) Hames, and Judy (Glen) Peck, all of Niles; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father, Lucian; and younger brother, Mitchell.
Services for Ken Nelson will be 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, at the Halbritter Funeral Home in Niles with Pastor David Szymczak, of the First Church of Christ in Niles, officiating. The family will receive relatives and friends at the funeral home beginning at noon Saturday.
Contributions in memory of Ken may be made to the American Cancer Society, or to the Agrace Hospice Care, 5395 E. Cheryl Pwy., Madison, WI 53711.