Gregory M Nelson, 66
DOUGLAS — Gregory M Nelson, was born August 2, 1954 in St Paul, Minnesota to Carl W (Willard) and Elaine Nelson. After his dad’s death in 2002, Greg lived with his mom, Elaine, in the family home in Douglas, Arizona. They made quite a good team, melding a loving, supportive relationship. He was also preceded in death by his beloved niece, Kendra Baumgartner. Greg is survived by Elaine A. Nelson, mother, sister Kris(tine) and brother-in-law Rory Baumgartner, Marana/Douglas and brother Scott and sister-in-law Hope Nelson, Chandler. Nieces Erin (Randy) Mason, Newport Beach, California, Jennifer Nelson and nephew Jeffrey (Sarah) Nelson, Phoenix. Uncle Keith and Auntie Marilyn Mahn, Chandler and Aunt Karen Nelson, North Branch, Minnesota; Great-nieces Emily Nelson and Delainey Mason and numerous cousins in Tucson (area), Phoenix (area), and North Branch.
The family moved from White Bear Lake, Minnesota when Greg was three, then from Tucson to Douglas to open Nelson‘s Glass & Mirror Co. in 1968. Eventually, everyone in the family worked there at one time or another! Greg graduated from Douglas High School in 1972, earning numerous awards and scholarships. He attended NAU in Flagstaff, where he met and married Janice Timmer. They graduated in 1977, then moved on to NDSU in Fargo, North Dakota, each earning a PhD. After a divorce, and a short tenure at the Carnegie-Mellon Institute in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Greg returned to Douglas.
Greg worked at “the shop”, but was always busy with art, glass melting, silk screening, inventions, woodworking, reading and learning.
Year after year, and trip after trip, Greg felt blessed to be integral in building homes in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. He worked for over 15 years with all of the many church groups around the country involved in Project Ladrillo, originated by Greg’s home church, Emmanuel Lutheran ELCA, where he was an active member until they closed.
For most of his 66 years on this earth, Greg was a tormented person with deep and painful inner struggles which left him unable to acknowledge his own gracious and generous soul. We may take comfort in the belief that Jesus described and understood the Gregs of the world when he said, “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden and I will give you rest” Matt 11:28.
Greg was known for a gentle demeanor, kindness beyond measure, and inability to say no to a friend or even a stranger’s request. Thanks to those at Pinal Hispanic Council/Cimpatico, CARING CONNECTIONS FOR SPECIAL NEEDS, LLC the Douglas Baha’i community, APFSI (Agua Prieta Family Shelters Inc.) and NAMI (National Alliance on Mentally Ill) of Southern Arizona (https://www.namisa.org) for their never-ending empathy, guidance and friendship.