John Othoe Nelson was born Oct. 29, 1931, at Montauk, Mo., to Clarence and Irena (Van Deusen) Nelson. He passed away Dec. 17, 2022, at the Texas County Memorial Hospital in Houston, Mo., at the age of 91.
He was united in marriage to Marjorie Marie Hayes on June 7, 1954, in Senatobia, Miss.
John attended school at Brown Hill Elementary through eighth grade. As most farm kids did during that time, he quit school to help his dad around the farm. He went to work at a very young age to help support his family. He worked for Nolan Hutcheson’s Oil Company driving a gasoline truck and later worked at Romines Ford Dealership as a mechanic. He worked many other jobs throughout his life, doing whatever it took to provide for his family, including installing insulation and working for BF Goodrich traveling to many farms to change or repair tractor tires in the field.
He spent a lot of time at his sister and brother-in-law’s house, Jennie and Herman Campbell. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1951 and served during the Korean Conflict. He spent time at duty stations in San Antonio, Texas, and Anchorage, Alaska. After he and Marge were married, he returned to California to finish his military service for his country, something he was always very proud of. He received his honorable discharge on July 12, 1955, having earned the Good Conduct Medal as well as several others and had attained the rank of Airman 1st Class.
Growing up, he attended the Brown Hill Baptist Church. He was also a proud member of the American Legion.
John loved spending time with his family whether it was camping in the truck camper or at family get-togethers. He loved his family with all his heart and enjoyed taking trips with his kids and grandkids and always tried to make it to their sporting events, plays or Grandparents Day at school. John enjoyed deer, rabbit and squirrel hunting. He liked to tinker in his shop and help others. He was very ingenuitive and could build or fix just about anything. After he retired, he was always willing to do whatever Marge had on her honey-do list. John also made many pots of soup or chili, not just for his family but for the whole neighborhood as their house was always the spot to congregate. You never really knew what was in the soup, usually whatever leftovers were in the refrigerator at the time, but nobody ever complained!
When his grandkids came along, they became his world. His first granddaughter Holley was with him all the time. He took care of her for the first 5 years of her life while her parents worked. He had cows that he named after all his grandkids. No matter what he was doing he would take the grandkids along with him, whether he was in the tractor, on the mower or working in the shop they were always right there. He would get down on the floor and play with them, take them to the park and push them on the swings. He was a wonderful, strong but soft and gentle husband, dad and papa. We will all be lost without him; he and Marge are the heart of the family.
John was preceded in death by his parents, Clarence and Irena Nelson; sisters, Frances Morgan, Jennie Campbell and Martha Beshears; a brother, Austin Nelson; father and mother-in-law, Raymond and Grace Hayes; brothers-in-law, Louis Morgan, George Beshears, Herman Campbell, Dean Shelton, Kenny Smith, Jack Hayes, Delmar Manley and Ernie Barnwell and sisters-in-law, Sylvia Hayes, Maxine Manley, Linda Barnwell and Mary Jo Nelson.
He is survived by his loving wife of 68 years, Marge Nelson of the home; a son, Johnny (Paula) Nelson of New London, Mo., daughter, Machelle Smith (Rob Wheeler) of Bucyrus, Mo.; grandchildren, Holley (Chris) Archuleta of Ashland, Mo., Brianna Smith of Louisville, Ky., and Chandler Smith (Sarah Schlachter) of Westfield, Ind.; a great-grandson, Noah Archuleta of Ashland; sisters, Joyce Shelton, Dona Wheeler (Lynn) and Linda Smith; sisters-in-law, Loretta May (Larry) and Sharon Hayes (Elmer) as well as a host of nieces, nephews, other family members and friends.
John loved the Lord, his wife and family more than anything in the world. He was also a great friend, uncle, brother, brother-in-law and son-in-law. He was always there to be counted on. His passing leaves a huge hole in his family and all the lives he has touched through the years. God truly gained and Angel!
Funeral services are 11 a.m., Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, at the Ellis Prairie Baptist Church with Pastor Kermit Lonning officiating. Interment with military honors is in the Ellis Prairie Cemetery. Services were under the care of Bradford Funeral Home, Summersville, and online condolences may be left at www.bradfordfuneralhome.net
So sorry for your loss. Prayer’s for the family.
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