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Rev John W. Nelson
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Birth: Sep. 7, 1946
Ashtabula County
Ohio, USA
Death: May 21, 2000
Maricopa County
Arizona, USA

John Wyant Nelson, born Sept. 7, 1946 in Ashtabula, Ohio. Parents: Robert John Nelson and Marilyn Marie Ecklund Nelson.

Grandfathers Frank Nelson and Norman Ecklund. John was born the first of 4 children. His sister Pamela Marie was born October 1947; brother Craig Martin was born Feb. 1951 and youngest sister Reta was born Feb. 1963. John was brought home from the hospital to the only home his parents ever owned. He grew up attending the Harbor United Methodist Church which was just 2 blocks from his house. He sang in the choir, was a member of the Youth Group, attended church and Sunday School all of his life.

As a boy John worked in his grandfather's (Nelson) IGA grocery store where his dad was the butcher. When he was younger he swept the floors and earned enough money to buy a fishing pole which he used once. As he got older he worked the cash register and delivered orders. John's hope was to someday own the family grocery store. While John was in high school Grandpa Nelson sold the store at the urging of John's dad.

After graduating from Harbor High School in 1964, John enrolled in the Ashtabula branch of Kent State University. He majored in Distributed Education combining education and business. He transferred to the main campus at Kent, Ohio and graduated in 1969 with his sister Pam.

John took a teaching job in New Lexington, Ohio in the fall of 1969. He taught Jr. and Sr. students who were in class half a day and on the job half a day. John networked with the local businesses securing jobs for his students. He lived upstairs at an old home in New Lexington, the owners of the house, a retired couple, lived down stairs. He attended the New Lexington United Methodist Church, singing in the choir and teaching a mid-week Bible Study for high school students.

In December 1972 Grandpa Nelson passed away. John did not attend his funeral but instead attended a Campus Crusade for Christ meeting in Columbus, Ohio. It was there that he accepted Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior and felt God's call on his life to become a minister.

In April 1973 John and Mildred Gregory, who lived in New Lexington and attended the Methodist Church, called John and told him they had someone they wanted him to meet, she was a redhead from Arizona. John agreed thinking that he would get stuck only once. He went to their house and met Kathie Black. They went to the youth Bible Study that Monday night.

Kathie had flown into Ohio for a girl friend's wedding in which she was an attendant. Monday she asked John if he would like to go to the wedding, which he did. Wednesday Kathie went out with another guy, a long time friend of the family, for a motorcycle ride. It was Holy Week and John asked her to go to church with him on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. Kathie agreed even though John sat in the choir and she sat in the congregation. On Saturday Kathie's college friend Jane Hibschman drove down from Ft. Wayne, Indiana. John, Kathie and Jane spent the day together. On Sunday Kathie and Jane attended Sunday School with John. Between Sunday School and Church Kathie and Jane met John's parents who had driven up from seeing Grandpa Ecklund in Florida. The girls left, Jane dropping Kathie off at the airport and then driving back to Ft Wayne.

John and Kathie talked every day on the phone. Seventeen days after they met he proposed and she accepted. They were married Sept. 1, 1973 in Mesa, Arizona. Their honeymoon was spent driving back to Ohio where John entered the Methodist Theological School in Delaware Ohio.
In June 1974 John and Kathie drove to Arizona to visit her family. While there John received a call to be a student minister for 2 small Methodist churches, one in North Lewisburg and the other one in Mingo both in Ohio. This was referred to as a 2-point charge. In September they drove back to North Lewisburg, the larger of the 2 churches and moved into the parsonage.

As a student pastor he attended classes during the day, prepared a Sunday morning and Wednesday night sermon, made hospital visitations, performed marriages, funerals, and baptisms. He did most of the things that a full time pastor would do but at a reduced salary. John also sang in the choir and worked with the youth.

John was the pastor of these 2 small country churches during his next 4 years of seminary. Three of his 4 children were born there. In June 1978 he graduated and could not longer stay in North Lewisburg/Mingo because he was no longer a student. The conference moved him and his family to Springfield, Ohio to St. Mark United Methodist Church.

As a full time pastor his responsibilities increased some but the salary didn't. John sang in the choir and he and Kathie were the Youth Sponsors. During his tenure at St. Mark he became the United Methodist District Youth Director. Youth were always a part of his life. He loved working with them and being around them.
In 1982 the Nelsons decided to move to Arizona. By this time they had 4 children ages 3 years to 7 years old. Kathie's parents drove to Ohio to help with the move. John was not transferred to Arizona and therefore did not pastor any churches. He went on Honorable Location meaning he was a member of the West Ohio District of the United Methodist Church in Ohio but could still administer the sacraments of marriage, baptism and burial.

Once moved to Arizona the family attended St. Andres UMC. Positions that John help were: Youth Director, Evangelism Director, sang in the choir, member of the Bell choir, substituted for the minister in his absence, taught Sunday School classes and courses on Evangelism and Discipleship and served on many committees. He also taught a Bible Study at St. Matthew UMC for people who were deaf. Diana Williams was the interpreter.

-Written by his wife Kathie

Grandfather: Frank Nelson
Grandmother: Reta Virginia Crawford Nelson 
City of Mesa Cemetery
Maricopa County
Arizona, USA
Maintained by: Rhonda
Originally Created by: EFG
Record added: Oct 26, 2007
Find A Grave Memorial# 22470128
Rev John W. Nelson
Added by: Rhonda
Rev John W. Nelson
Added by: EFG
Rev John W. Nelson
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Dave
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- Neil B (John 3:16)
 Added: May. 12, 2013
John was struck and killed by a drunken driver while he was delivering papers on a part-time job.May you rest in eternal peace.
- Serenity
 Added: Jul. 12, 2010

- Rhonda
 Added: Jun. 27, 2010

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