The heartbroken family of Nelson Nurse announces with deep sadness and loss his passing on December 23, 2022, after a brief illness at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre. The Angels sang with joy when Nelson was born and welcomed him back with open arms.
Nelson was born on a farm outside Rocanville, Sask. He developed a strong bond early in life with his maternal Irish Grandfather David who was a farmer and eventually became a provincial Sask. Beehive Inspector. From a young age, Nelson helped his grandfather with the work. In the process, he learned about the art of keeping bees. His grandfather was also a Honey producer. Nelson helped transport hives to various locations as well as learning the ‘honey making’ process. He learned at a young age the value of hard work. Nelson never outgrew a fondness for honey mixed with peanut butter.
Nelson loved the prairies. He shared funny and interesting stories of his childhood growing up including wild adventures with his dear cousin Blaine and friends. He got into much mischief or out of, depending on the situation. Sometimes it was to the dismay of his mother, relatives, and teachers. He usually emerged unscathed, with a smile and another story to tell.
At the age of 16, Nelson moved to Longlac, Ont. where his father found work as a Camp Foreman with Kimberly Clark. Nelson was amazed at the time, as to the abundance of trees and accessible freshwater lakes in comparison to the vast open prairies of southern Sask. He eventually fell in love with the land but not the black flies! He never forgot his roots or his unique experiences living on the Prairies.
In his new location, Nelson quickly made friends, some of whom were for life. He attended Geraldton High School and at the age of 17, met the love of his life, Betty Anne. He also was an outstanding athlete in his younger years winning awards.
Nelson worked initially as a pay roll clerk for the Longlac branch of the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). Eventually he was transferred to Port Arthur. He went on to higher education perusing his studies in accounting. Nelson attained degrees as a graduate Member of the Society of Management Accountants and eventually as a Canadian Management Accountant (CMA). He especially liked forensic accounting. He became the Chief Auditor for the NW travelling throughout the Region. Along the way he made many friends. Eventually, he became the MNR’s Regional Financial Manager located in Thunder Bay. Nelson was a man of strong convictions and easily expressed opinions. He loved his job, his staff and would not hesitate to support them. His sense of humour, high values, leadership skills and critical thinking helped him manage many challenges on and off the job Upon retirement, Nelson had short term contracts with the hospital in Nipigon, Red Lake, Ministry of Health and School of Medicine in Thunder Bay.
Nelson’s Irish / Scot heritage cultivated a quirky playful sense of humour that served him well throughout his life. He particularly enjoyed the Irish side’s playful approach. For example, each morning he loudly sang (usually off key) little quirky diddies or a few lines from an old song that sometimes ended with a naughty twist.
He often surprised many folks older than him, with a cheery ‘Hello young fellow or young lady’. He always respected and often liked to cheer up many a worker providing a service whether it was at a restaurant or other type of business.
Nelson and Betty Anne were strong supporters of young figure skaters. They loved the sport and up until a few years ago, travelled extensively to National and International Figure Skating Championships.
Nelson dearly loved his sons. Michael helped and supported his dad upon many occasions. Nelson along with his son David’s help, focused much energy and effort over the years toward maintaining and improving the family cottage at Hicks Lake. He singlehandedly built a steam bath cottage which in his mind, was perfect. Nelson very much enjoyed having family and friends over to visit at the cottage. He loved the many barbecue dinners including his favourite ‘Beer Can Chicken’. While sitting on his deck, Nelson enjoyed watching wildlife, the ducks and various lake traffic. Nelson was an excellent photographer. One outstanding photo taken was of a beautiful Hicks Lake red sky sunset which remains a framed keepsake at the cottage.
Nelson developed from a young age, a love of game of Golf which continued throughout his lifetime. He was a member of Ft. Wm. Country Club for many years. He enjoyed working as a volunteer ‘Starter’ for the Ft. Wm. Invitational. He was a 10-year member of the Westfort Prosvita Golf Association. He had a deep fondness for the staff and Association members. Nelson happily spent many a Thursday with Lennie, Al and Michael playing a round. Afterwards, he loved to chat and socialize with the ‘Proz Crew’, who became his friends. Nelson much enjoyed playing his last round of golf at a TbayTel Tournament with his two sons. He played well and won the tournament. He remarked it was a perfect ending to the golf season. For many years, Nelson volunteered on the MNR Lakehead Forest Local Citizens Committee (LFLCC). He supported the committee’s work and felt it was important to have public input into forest management. Nelson was fond of horses and loved his dogs that he had over the years, especially the black and brown labs. He was a member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church. He enjoyed helping at the social events and dinners.
Nelson was dearly loved by his family as he loved them. He showed his love through his many helpful ways and tried his best to be available for family requests or activities. He loved to joke around while enjoying just being with family. His Irish charm was ever so evident when he could coax a smile from you, even if you were having a very bad day!
Nelson is lovingly remembered by his high-school sweetheart and wife, Betty Anne (Vaudrin), sons Michael (Sonja), David (Sabrina), sisters Arleen Wozniak (Ed), Diane Nehrebecky (Serge), brother Lyle (Marian), brother in laws Lorne Vaudrin (Valerie), Doug Vaudrin (Nancy) and several cousins, nieces, and nephews. Nelson was predeceased by his beloved grandfather David Hilts, father Cecil, mother Verna, cousin Bob Scott, various cousins, aunts and uncles in Sask.
Special Thank You to the TBRHSC Physicians and Nursing 2C staff for their exceptional care and kindness toward Nelson. A huge thank you to good neighbours, friends and others who helped the family and continue to do so.
A Celebration of Life for Nelson Nurse will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, January 11, 2023 in the Chapel of Sargent & Son Funeral Home, 21 N. Court Street with visitation being held one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation be made to the Thunder Bay Humane Society or a charity of your choice. Online condolences may be made to www.sargentandson.com.
‘Until We Meet Again’