FLOYD R “BOB” NELSON
On Sunday morning, August 5th, 2018, Bob Nelson died at home in Hospice Care in the loving arms of his family after a valiant struggle with cancer. Floyd Robert “Bob “ Nelson was born January 6, 1933 in rural Cherokee County, Iowa, to Martin and Agnes Linea Kimblad Nelson. He was the youngest and last surviving of their five children: Leonart, Ruth Mischler, Harry, and Martha Galigan. When Bob was in the second grade, his family moved to Marcus, Iowa, where he graduated from high school in 1951 in a graduating class of 21. He then attended the University of Nebraska where he graduated in January 1956 with a BS in Civil Engineering.
Bob followed his two older brothers, World War II heros, into the United States Navy. He was commissioned in the Civil Engineering Corps. After active duty, he remained in the Navy Reserves for 22 years, achieving the rank of Commander. A proud officer of the Sea Bees, he served with Mobile Construction Battalions. In 1964, he organized the Battalions that came into Colorado from all over the US to build the then new Peaceful Valley Boy Scout Ranch. He took seven year old son Marty with him onto the site so he could anticipate a future of fun activities.
During his years with the now defunct Prescon Corporation, Bob became a leading authority on construction using post-tensioned concrete. He also spent several years with Parker Steel. After retiring, he served for several more years as a plant inspector for the Post-Tensioned Institute.
Bob’s greatest joy in life was his family. On September 11, 1955 he and Beverly J Ellison were married in Beatrice, Nebraska. Their three children are: Martin Robert (Cathleen), Denver; Theresa Marie (Dan) Lowe, Littleton; and Kirstin (Michael Madziarek), Denver. Grandchildren are: Megan, Allyson, and Rachel Nelson, Denver; Travis Lowe, serving in the US Air Force in Poland, and his wife, Katharina Albert, Texas, and Kelsey Lowe, Denver; Thomas Madziarek, North Platte, Nebraska. He was preceded in death by grandson, Drew Nelson.
When the children were born, Bob told his wife “Now my life has purpose.” As a father, he taught his sometimes resistant son and daughters the important life skills - from changing a car tire to the value of a hard day’s work. As a teacher, he taught the childen math skills with a clarity that solved the mysterious. Years later, he resumed tutoring math and science with grandchildren.
During the children’s school years, on summer vacations the family traveled across Colorado, from Michigan to Missouri and across the western US in a compact travel trailer often with a dog or cat also along. Excitement ranged from having the Wyoming wind blow out the camper window, to the dog Gus escaping the trailer and chasing down the car. On the last trip, they camped up Highway 1 of the California Coast through the Big Sur to San Francisco. After the children were grown, Bob and Bev’s travels extended to Europe and then to cruise ships. In later years, the family joined together again to travel by cruise ship to Scandinavia and Great Britain.
Bob was a born tinkerer. When something broke he fixed it even if he had to design and create a piece. His bent nail kept a washing machine running for at least another 15 years. His garage is filled with boxes and containers of parts and pieces that may be needed someday. His daughters and granddaughters gave him sacks of broken jewelry for repair.
When his wife embarked on an avocation of genealogy, he developed skills at photographing tombstones, working every design of copying machine ever invented, and searching the stacks of dark archives across Eastern US. Although he was a first generation Swede, he graciously escorted her to lineage events and developed friendships.
With two members of his family in law enforcement, he delighted in going on ride-alongs. He was also a faithful fan of granddaughter Rachel’s hockey teams. But, as a fan, his primary devotion was to the Bronco football team. He acquired his four season tickets when owner Phipps required that contractors buy Bronco tickets if they wanted contracts. Until four years ago, on game day he was in his seat on the 30 yard line.
When Bob retired from Parker Steel, his wife gave him a choice of hanging out at home alone, or joining her in The Southwestern Gallery. This led to a fascination with the American Indian art and culture.
Graveside services will be at Fort Logan, Tuesday, August 14, 1:30 pm, Staging Area B. In lieu of flowers, donations to a favorite charity, or to: Myeloproliferaative Neoplasms Foundation or Project Healing Waters would be appreciated.
His family loves and misses him.