George Leroy Nelson, resident of Tehachapi, Calif., passed unexpectedly and peacefully while visiting his favorite desert oasis near Independence, Calif., on Aug. 1, 2020. This mine area reminded him of his childhood growing up on a farm with an artesian well and a coal mine.
George was born March 31, 1933, to McKinley (Mac) and Hortense Nelson.
He was raised on the family farm southwest of Williston, North Dakota. He attended rural Stony Creek and graduated from Williston High School in 1952. He delivered coal for a few years with his Dad from the Black Diamond coal mine. Later he farmed with his brother Charlie and owned a gas station before going to work in the oilfields hauling drilling chemicals.
He was married to LaVonne (Lowe) Nelson on Oct 2, 1954 in Williston. They had three children: Cheryl, Calvin and Curtis. They later divorced and he moved to Casper, Wyo. George worked for many different trucking companies until he retired and did yard maintenance for a few years before moving to Tehachapi, Calif., to be closer to his children and their families.
George was a lifetime member of the Moose Lodge #239. He also was a member of the Eagles #306. He enjoyed dancing, going to rodeos, talking to people and going places with his family. He loved seeing his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow up and being part of their lives. He also liked having lunch with his friend Sandi and others at the Senior Citizen center.
He is survived by two sons, Calvin and his wife Cruz of Bakersfield, Calif., and Curtis and his wife Leslie of Tehachapi, Calif.; one daughter Cheryl Harris and her husband Tim of Bakersfield, Calif.; 12 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren. Two sisters, Carol Nelson of Valley City, N.D., and Uta (Nelson) Thompson of Grand Forks, N.D. and brother, Willis Nelson of Buckeye, Ariz., and several nieces and nephews.
George was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Frances and Charles Nelson; sisters, Beatrice Olde, Louise Nelson, Florence (Wally) Hedblad, and Vivian (C.D.) Lindgren.
A memorial gathering will be held at later date for friends and family.