On July 23, 2019, David went home with the Lord to celebrate his 70th birthday. Party attendees included his father, sister, and several wonderful friends.
David was born and raised in Harriman, Tennessee where he worked on a farm in Swan Pond milking cows and bailing hay. He credited this experience for his athleticism on the football field at Harriman High School.
After graduating from HHS, David went to work as a boilermaker. He was a member of The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Local 454. He first worked for Chicago Bridge and Iron in Boston, Massachusetts, where he got in several fights over his southern accent. Later he worked in Texas, where the locals were more forgiving. He eventually came back home and went to work for TVA, who recognized his potential and sent him to UT Chattanooga where he earned a B.S. in Physics. At TVA, David rose through the ranks and would become known as an outage expert across the nuclear power community. After retiring from TVA as the outage guru for their nuclear fleet, he was employed by FirstEnergy in Ohio, where his talents were put to work starting the only ever pressurized water reactor head & CRTs replacement. Perhaps more importantly, David was known for being a great mentor and a champion for his co-workers. He thoroughly enjoyed taking the fight to executive management.
David had two daughters, Kaye and Whitney, with Janice Moore Nelson. While divorced, Janice and David remained friends and bonded over the love of their grandchildren. David loved the outdoors and would take his daughters to their farm to pick ‘maters and collect spring water. He also enjoyed taking them hiking, camping, boating, and fishing. He loved to ride his Harley and feel the breeze in what little hair he had left. He was intelligent, kind, funny, warm, and was like family to many people.
David is preceded in death by his father, Charles Walter “Sheriff” Nelson and his sister, Margie West. He is survived by his mother, Ruth Roberts; his daughters Kaye Francis and Whitney Emch (Jeremy); his grandchildren, Madeline Francis, Elias and Evan Emch; his siblings Gary Nelson, Sherry Baxendale (Mickey), Diane McAllister, and Angela Strange; several very special nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends Monday July 29, 2019 at Davis Funeral Home in Harriman from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. A Celebration of Life service will follow at 7:00 PM with Bro. Dwight Bass officiating.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association or Bowers Elementary School, earmarked for Missy's Closet or the school garden.
Davis Funeral Home, Harriman, is honored to serve the Nelson family.