Donald Clifford Nelson passed away peacefully at the age of 95 on July 29, 2021. He was born January 13, 1926 near Dallas, South Dakota to Clifford and Vera (Usher) Nelson. The third of four sons who grew up on ranches in north central Nebraska, Don enjoyed working with animals, especially horses. After graduating Valedictorian from Stuart HS in 1944, he joined the Army and served in combat during WWII, mainly in the Philippines. His military service resulted in several decorations and citations, including the Bronze Star.
Returning home, Don became a teacher and school administrator in South Dakota and Nebraska, introducing "new" programs such as food service, transportation and junior high. He met and married the love of his life, Alyce Faye Kirkpatrick, in Overton, NE on June 8, 1955. He went on to receive his Doctorate in Education at the Univ. of Nebraska, but not before taking a hiatus during the sixties to work for McDonnell/Douglas in California as a financial manager in their aerospace division, writing budgets for launch operations during the space race years. He especially liked visiting the field stations and talking with the astronauts.
After completing his Doctorate, he concluded his career working as the Asst. Superintendent of the NKC school district. Retiring in 1993 gave him and Alyce time to travel and spend time with their grandsons.
Don was a member of the VFW, Masonic Lodge, Shriners, and a long-time member of the Methodist church. He was very active in his son's activities, including serving as a "Y"s Man for Indian Guides, helping coach sports teams, and attending countless music concerts and sporting events.
Above all else, he will be remembered as a man of character and grace. Gentle in spirit, and quick with a smile or a joke, the wellbeing of those around him was always in the forefront of his mind. Don's fairness, patience, persistence and wisdom earned him the respect of all those around him.
Don was preceded in death by his parents and his brothers Edwin and Vern. He is survived by his wife Alyce; brother James (Lela) Nelson; sons Jeffrey (Paula) Nelson and Kirk (Julie) Nelson; grandsons Clifford Nelson and Christopher Nelson; extended family members and friends.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society PMB-317 7111 W. 151st St. Overland Park, KS 66223 913-262-1515. An inurnment at the Overton, NE Cemetery and a celebration of life will be scheduled at a future time.
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