John M. Nelson, 85, Kokomo, died at 7:57 p.m. Friday, May 24, 2013, at St. Joseph Hospital. He was born Nov. 13, 1927, in Jersey City, N.J., the son of Daniel and Martha Nelson. He married first wife Mary (Dahl) Nelson. She preceded him in death in April 1970. On June 11, 1981, in Kokomo, he married Jane (Busch) Nelson and she survives.
John was a 1952 graduate of Taylor University and was in the Athletic Hall of Fame having played basketball and football during his time there. He was employed in the safety department at Haynes Stellite from 1953 to 1964. After that he was a safety engineer at Delco Electronics for 24 years, retiring in 1984. John was a member of First Baptist Church, where he served as a Deacon and Elder. He was a member of the Kokomo Y’s Men serving as president. He served on the Taylor University Alumni Board. He was a member of the Taylor University Trojan Club, and the Taylor University Hall of Fame. He was also a member of Sports World Ministries and Sports Ambassadors during their First Venture for Victory Team to the Orient. John served his country in the U.S. Navy from 1946 to 1948 aboard the USS Corry.
John is survived by his wife, Jane; his children, Karen Walton and husband, Gary, Tom Nelson and wife, Cindy, Richard Nelson and wife, Susan, Deborah Daugherty and husband, Chad, Sue (Busch) Johnson, Barb (Busch) Hilton and husband, Matt, Dave Busch and wife, Deb, and Lori (Busch) Fountain and husband, John; grandchildren, Lauren (Walton) George and husband, Tim, Jenny Walton, Eric Walton, Nicole (Nelson) Reagan and husband, Sean, Abby Nelson, Tori Nelson, Josiah Nelson, Sam Daugherty, Zach Daugherty, Jacob Daugherty, Emma Daugherty, Molly Daugherty, Sara Johnson, Molly Fitzsimmons and husband, Don, Megan Johnson, Becky Johnson, Jill Johnson, Chantel Vargas, Josh Hilton and wife, Jessica, Elizabeth Hilton, Michael Hilton, Brandon Busch, Elaine Busch, Patrick Fountain, Ben Fountain, Josh Borum and Sarah Begley and husband, Nick; and great-grandchildren, Ryker and Kalli Fitzsimmons, Parker and Cade Kurtz, Collin and Gavin Begley.
A memorial service for John will begin at 1 p.m. on Tuesday at First Baptist Church 310 W. Taylor St., with Pastor Paul Martin officiating. Burial will follow in Crown Point Cemetery. Friends may call on the family from 10 a.m. until service time at the church.
Memorial contributions may be made to Taylor University or First Baptist Church with envelopes provided. Online condolences may be directed to www.shirleyandstout.com. Shirley & Stout Funeral Homes & Crematory is assisting the family with arrangements.
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