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Mr. Melvin Richard Nelson

Mr. Melvin Richard Nelson
  • January 29, 1922 - February 17, 2015
  • Palm Springs, California

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“Condolences to the Nelson family, so sorry for your loss. With deep sympathy, Sal & Lynn Bruno ”
1 of 2 | Posted by: Lynn Bruno

“So sorry for your loss. Melvin was such a nice man. Although I didn't get to know him as well as I would have liked since he was older than I am, ...Read More ยป
2 of 2 | Posted by: Carol Calderone Luetkehans - IL


Melvin Nelson was born in Galesburg, Illinois in 1922. He was the son of Swedish immigrants who settled in Galesburg because it was a hub for several railroads. Galesburg is an "All-American City" whose impact and reach throughout history has been greater than it should have been, given its size and location.

After serving on a destroyer in the South Pacific during World War II, he returned to Galesburg to marry Dorothy Jordan and start a family. He became a craftsman...a sheet metal worker...a pretty good golfer...a great softball player...and an avid photographer. He would give slide shows in the basement theater of his home on Willard Street. He presented shows on a variety of subjects...holidays, birthdays, family vacations and all events at the Covenant Church in Galesburg, including the construction of the new church. His color photographs taken between 1955 and 1963 were published in a book by his three sons titled "Our Father's Images" and shown at The College of the Canyons in 2008. Here is a quote from the show..."Melvin Nelson photographed his three sons as they grew up in Illinois during the 50s and 60s. With the backdrop of vacation destinations, such as Disneyland, these images take on an additional historic significance. Utilizing an instinctual gift for composition and an intuitive use of equipment, Melvin Nelson created works that might bring to mind the photographs of Diane Arbus or Elliott Erwitt." He never acknowledged it...but he was an artist.

His three sons, Michael, Stephen and Gary made their parents move to California in 1986 after attempting to get to Galesburg for Christmas. They were stranded in Denver and St. Louis, and finally got to Galesburg the day after Christmas. That was enough to convince Mel and Dot that Christmas ... READ MORE →