|C. Everett Nelson, 96, of Galesburg, died at 2:15 p.m., Thursday, April 19, 2012 after a brief illness.
He was born December 26, 1915 in Sharon Springs, Kan., the son of Carl and Hannah Bowman Nelson. He married Mary Anderson Nelson on August 10, 1940 in Monmouth, Ill. She died April 2, 2011.
He is survived by a son, Thomas Everett (and Peg) Nelson of Galesburg; a grand-dog, Bing; two grandsons, David and Matthew Ahlswede of Mount Pleasant, Mich.; many nieces and nephews including Eugene (Jane) Dahlgren of Fullerton, Calif. and Gerald (Barbara) Leaf of McPherson, Kan.; many great nieces and nephews; and great-great nephews and nieces; and Gail and Kevin Pokorny and their children (Ben, Reagan and Addison) of Barrington, Ill. He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters; and his daughter, Cara Ahlswede.
He was raised in Sharon Springs, Kan., where his first language was Swedish. He graduated from Sharon Spring High School in 1932. Until five years ago Everett always attended the all high school reunion whenever they were held.
After graduating from high school, Everett began working at the family business, Bowman Shoe Co. While at Monmouth, he met the love of his life, Mary, at a Valentine's Day dance. They were a couple for 76 years and were married for 70 years. They made their first home together in Boone, Iowa.
He joined the U.S. Navy during World War II and served aboard the destroyer escort U.S.S. Hobby in the Pacific.
He, Mary and their children moved to Streator in 1954 to operate the Bowman store. He and Mary continued to operate and own it until selling the business and retiring in 1985. He and Mary moved to Galesburg in 2002 to be close to Tom and Peg.
In Streator Everett was a member of the Streator Lions Club and held many positions in the club including President. He was named a lifetime member and received its Distinguished Service Award for his work creating a program to lend wheel chairs to those in need. He was a member of St Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Streator and was currently a member of First Lutheran Church in Galesburg. Everett enjoyed playing in the men's card group at St Paul's and playing couples' bridge. He also was active in the reunions of the Hobby and was its recording secretary for many years. He enjoyed traveling with Mary, especially to uncover their heritage in Sweden. He enjoyed woodworking and yard work. He was a familiar sight in his neighborhood walking the little white dog, Bing -- even when urged not to do so on account of weather. Creeping Charlie didn't stand a chance in his yard.
Visitation will be 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, 2012 at First Lutheran Church, followed by a funeral service at 1 p.m. The Rev. Al Beck will officiate. Burial will be in Warren County Memorial Park Cemetery in Monmouth with military rites by Ralph M. Noble American Legion Post 285. Memorials may be made to First Lutheran Church in Galesburg or St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Streator. Hinchliff-Pearson-West is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.h-p-w.com.