Cover photo for Orin Nelson's Obituary
Orin Nelson Profile Photo
1935 Orin 2018

Orin Nelson

December 19, 1935 — January 12, 2018

Orin L. Nelson Sun City Arizona and Ames Iowa Orin was born on a farm near Eagle Grove, Iowa during a winter blizzard in 1935 and died at his home in Sun City, Arizona surrounded by his family on January 12, 2018. He attended country school through the eighth grade, graduated high school in Eagle Grove, and Iowa State University with a BS in agronomy. Orin worked in the Humboldt County Iowa assessors office and was the elected to County Auditor. He became a District Executive for the Boy Scouts and in visiting with a scoutmaster who worked in a nursing home he became interested in the nursing home profession. He earned a health care administrator license and was hired by Sunset Knoll Nursing Home in Aurelia, Iowa and remained in that profession for 30 years until his retirement in 2000. In 2002, he and his wife Margie began spending winters in Sun City Arizona and ultimately summers in Ames, Iowa. Volunteerism was an important part of Orin's life. He was a scoutmaster, served on the Aurelia City Council, Aurelia Municipal Electric Board, and a 30-year member of Kiwanis. He helped build houses for Habitat for Humanity, volunteered at Banner Hospital, and worked in the thrift shop at All Saints of the Desert. Although Orin was born with only one arm, he rode motorcycles, built and remodeled houses, hung wallpaper, refurbished old cars, and could fix almost anything. Orin was diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in 2010 and participated in a clinical trial which gave him almost seven years of normal function. He was eternally thankful to Dr. Marwan Sabbagh at Barrow Neurological Institute for his care and ultimately his friendship. In July 2017 Orin was diagnosed with lung cancer and his final wish was to complete the brain study and then donate his brain for research. Those left to mourn his death are his wife of 58 years, Margie, son and wife David and Kerrilyn, daughter and wife Nancy and Stephanie, son and wife Clark and Seema Shah-Nelson, two beautiful grandsons Rishi and Amaal, two step grandsons Joel and Jace Bergeron, seven step-great grandchildren, one sister and husband Carol and Robert Schafer, and many nieces, nephews, and in-laws. Memorial services will be held at 11:00 on January 25 at All Saints of the Desert Episcopal Church, Burns and Hutton, Sun City Arizona. Interment will be on a sunny summer day at the cemetery near the house where he was born in Iowa. Memorial gifts may be directed to Orin was known by many as Butch and truly lived his life planting trees under whose shade he never expected to sit.

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