Don Nelson's Story
as told by Beverly Nelson
H. Nelson was born in Forkville, Mississippi, on February 6, 1947. (Itís named such because there is a
fork in the road!) He was the
youngest of three children. His
fatherís name was Henry A. Nelson (he passed away in 1997). His mother is Arthureen Nelson. He had two sisters: Bobbie Catherine Nelson and Henrietta
Nelson (who passed away in 1997).
graduated from Morton High School (Morton, MS) in 1965 and joined the Marines on
July 5, 1966. He was discharged on
April 1, 1969. He attended a Junior
College in Jackson, MS and took some classes at the University of New Orleans.
son, Michael was born on February 15, 1971.
Michael is now married and has two children, Kristian and Sam. Windy, Donís stepdaughter, works in
met Don at church in 1982 and we were married on August 9, 1986, in New Orleans. He was always trying to locate some of
the guys he served with in Vietnam. About
four years ago, he was able to get in touch with some of them. He located Johnny Price, and they
located: Dennis Bowers, Reggie
Morrell, and Dave Plietz. I believe
Donís nickname in Vietnam was ďRiver Rat.Ē
Johnny remembered that Don always liked to drink milk. Don talked about LZ Loon many
timesóespecially about the American flag they found. Three years ago, they all
got together in Virginia. Don was
so excited about getting to be with them. He
was very proud to be a Marine and thoroughly enjoyed reading all the e-mails. Had he been well, I believe he would
have come to the reunion you are planning.
May of 1999, Don was diagnosed with lung cancer, which had spread to his brain. The doctors said he had only three to
six months to live. But, God proved
the doctors wrong. Through much
prayer and medical treatment, he lived for two years. He used his incredible journey to praise the Lord. One of his favorite acronyms was for
FAITH (fantastic adventure in trusting Him).
Don never complained or asked for any special treatment. From the day we met until the day he
passed on, Don was a true gentleman; he was a wonderful, caring, loving, and
providing husband. He was strong,
intelligent, sensitive, and fun to be with.
He was my hero.
of the pictures I am attaching are: Donís
boot camp graduation, Don in Vietnamódrinking milk, our wedding picture with
Michael and Windy, Don playing with his grandchildren, Don before his illness,
Don hugging his mother (Feb, 2001), Don with Johnny Price (taken five days
before his death), and the plaque on the monument at the cemetery where Don is
use what you think is appropriate for the web site. If I can get you some more information that you think would
be good, please let me know.
appreciate your honoring Don. And I
thank all of you for the sweet messages of condolences and the encouragement you
have given me.