Thomas E. Nelson
February 9, 2023
Thomas Eugene Nelson, 102, of Shelton, peacefully passed away on Saturday, January 28, 2023. He was a lifelong Shelton resident born to Arthur & Gladys (Booth) Nelson in Shelton and raised in Kamilche. Tom was the oldest of three children. Tom's love of fishing and the water began early. His family lived on a float house in Little Skookum Bay. Tom told stories about watching fish swim in the bay as he lay on the floor watching through a knot hole. He attended Shelton Schools, graduating from Irene S. Reed in 1939.
Tom enlisted the United States Army Air Force soon after the beginning of WWII. He spent his time in the military as a gunnery instructor. Tom met Olive Wright at the USO during his time in Sioux City Iowa. Tom and Ollie were married just after midnight January 1, 1946, it was also their shared birthday.
Tom returned to Washington with his bride after his military discharge. Tom spent most of his life working as a shellfish farmer. There are plenty of entertaining stories about his days on the bay especially when things didn't always go according to his plan. Tom was known for his feisty temper and colorful language. Tom grew up with love for hunting and fishing. He enjoyed both until late into his life. Tom made his last trip to British Columbia, Canada to moose hunt when he was 97 years old. He continued to fish around Western Washington for a couple years beyond that.
One of the difficulties of living a long life is the loss of most of the people that shared your history. Tom was preceded in death by his wife Ollie Nelson (1990), a second wife Harriet Dewell (2004), his parents of course, sister Jean Petty, and his brother Tony Nelson, along with so many cousins, nephews, and friends. Tom is survived by his daughters Lynn Nelson of Shelton, Jayne' Nelson of Olympia: Grandchildren Tad Wiltman and Albany Nelson.
Tom had a long amazing life doing the things he liked most. He was a strong believer in living life on his own terms and enjoying all that he could.
A celebration of Tom's life will be held sometime this Spring 2023.