William Patrick Nelson | Geauga County maple leaf

« Back to Obituaries

MUNSON TWP. – William Patrick Nelson, aged 89, of Munson Township, died January 18, 2022.

The youngest of three brothers, he was born on Good Friday, March 25, 1932 to Cecille and Bert Nelson and grew up in Dearborn, Michigan.

After graduating from the University of Detroit Jesuit High, he received a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Notre Dame and was a staunch, lifelong fan of Notre Dame football.

After college, he served in the United States Navy during the Korean War.

In 1960 he married the love of his life, Helen O’Connor, to whom he would remain married for almost 60 years. Raising nine children together, they moved across the country to wherever his career would take them.

After moving to California, his interesting career has included work on the advent of the solid-state computer chip, the first car airbags, the communications tools for the Apollo space program, the Landsat satellites, the Star Wars space program, and the Hubble telescope.

He also managed a data processing project for the Reagan administration, developed one of the original credit agency databases, and eventually retired in 1993 as director of information resources for science and technology at TRW.

Throughout his career, he has found time to serve his community in Little League athletic coaching and has served on local school boards, library boards and local councils. His interests included traveling to the Great Lakes region, enjoying nature and gardening, and reading and collecting mostly Orthodox Catholic books. He loved telling stories and speaking about government and church politics, often harshly criticizing the current state of affairs in both. He found great joy in his family, whether it was babysitting his grandchildren or being introduced to his newest newborn great-grandchild.

He was preceded in death by his wife Helen (née O’Connor); daughter Janet Gullo and granddaughter Cecilia Gullo; parents, Cecille and Bert Nelson; older brother Bruce (Shirley) Nelson; and several in-laws.

He is survived by his children Mary (Doug) Pruneau, Bill (Lisa) Nelson, Susan (Jeff) Young, Karen (Kevin) Koski, David (Natalie) Nelson, Terry (Christine) Nelson, Joseph Nelson and Michael Nelson; son-in-law, Timothy Gullo; older brother Tom (Linda) Nelson; 22 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and many in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Instead of flowers, donations to a purgatory society of your choice or simply a traditional Latin mass for the rest of his soul are suggested.

The family will meet friends on Friday, January 28, 2022 from 5pm to 8pm at the Burr Funeral Home, 116 South St, Chardon

A funeral service will be held on Monday, January 31, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. at Assumption Grotto Church, 13770 Gratiot Ave., Detroit, Michigan.

Burial will be at 1:00 p.m. at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery, 25800 W. 10 Mile Road, Southfield, Mich.

Arrangements by Burr Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Chardon. Information and condolences online at www.burrservice.com.

About Ellen Lewandowski

Check Also

Angelo State University Expands Cybersecurity Presence

Tom Nurre Jr. Angelo State University was selected to work with the Texas Department of …