Bob Nelson, 89, of Fountain Hills passed away on Dec. 15, 2019. He was born in Woodstock, Ill. where he was an Eagle Scout, all-state basketball and football player and president of his high school class.
He attended the University of Illinois, but left in 1951 to enlist in the Marine Corps. Bob entered the NAVCAD program at NAS Pensacola, Fla., where he was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in 1953. He served fifteen years in jet fighter, attack, and reconnaissance squadrons in Korea, Hawaii, California, Japan, and the Philippines. For the last 10 years of his career, Colonel Nelson commanded helicopter squadrons in Vietnam, Peru, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. He retired at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, N.C.
Tired of the heat and humidity of North Carolina, Bob built a home in Rio Verde, Ariz. in 1977. He excelled at golf and was an active Rio Verde board member, and firefighter/founder of Rural Metro services in Rio Verde. He was known for his generosity and selflessness. Bob completed his education at ASU, earning a business degree.
Bob married Cindy in 1991 and enjoyed raising her daughter, Sarah, and leading a Brownie Scout troop. They built a home in Fountain Hills, enjoyed travel, attending Marine Corps reunions and entertaining friends. Bob’s 2005 stroke (due to heart failure) led to many challenges over the years. When the hospitalizations increased, Bob had to be admitted to Morningstar Assisted Living in Fountain Hills.
A memorial service will be held at Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church on Saturday, Feb. 29, at 11 a.m.
Messinger Fountain Hills Mortuary handled the arrangements.
Donations can be made to Comprehensive Hospice and Palliative Care, 2111 E. Highland Ave., Phoenix, AZ.