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Wayne Nelson

May 27, 1925 – Feb 7, 2018

Wayne Nelson

POSTED February 16, 2018 6:06 p.m.

Wayne Edwin Nelson, 92, of Sacramento, CA, passed away February 7, 2018. He was born May 27, 1925, to Clarence and Hazel Nelson in Herbst, IN.

Wayne joined the Navy right out of high school and was a WWII veteran. He served as a navigator on a PBM patrol bomber in the South-East Asian Theatre. Upon returning home, he earned his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin. During that time he met Ruth Pollock at a square dance in Madison, WI, and they were married in December, 1956.

After they married, Ruth and Wayne moved to California, living in Fort Bragg and Seaside. In 1968 they moved, along with their three children, to Albuquerque, NM, so Wayne could get his doctorate in kinesiology. After graduating they moved to Turlock, CA, where Wayne was a professor of physical education at California State University at Stanislaus. He was the tennis coach and chair of the department.  Wayne retired in 1992 and he and Ruth moved to Farmington, NM, where he continued to teach at San Juan College.  He was an active tennis and racquetball player. In 2010 Ruth and Wayne moved to Sacramento to be closer to family.

He was active in the Presbyterian Church as an elder and enjoyed singing in the choir. Wayne was a lifelong educator and continued to teach activity classes to the senior community until just a few months prior to his death. He was a firm believer in being physically active at all ages. 

Wayne was preceded in death by his parents and three siblings, his wife of 60 years Ruth, his son Glenn Nelson and his grandson Max Birchfield. He is survived by his brother Joe Nelson, daughters Anne Dirmeyer (Steve), Melanie Nelson, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

The family would like to thank Nazarina and Von Vega and all the caretakers at Norris Senior Home for treating Dad like a king. Thank you as well to Sutter Hospice for their compassionate care for Dad, and us, during his time of need. 

A memorial service will be held on February 27th at 10:00 am at Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home, 5401 Folsom Blvd, Sacramento, CA, followed by a military burial at 1:00 pm at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road in Dixon, CA.

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