Frederick C. Nelson - December 15, 2012Former Aurora resident Frederick C. Nelson, 91, died on Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 in Lincoln.
A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday Dec. 20, at the Aurora Evangelical Free Church, 12th and A Streets, Aurora. Inurnment will follow at 3 p.m. at Wyuka Cemetery, 3600 O Street in Lincoln. Higby-McQuiston Mortuary is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be e-mailed to the family through the mortuary website at www.higbymortuary.com.
Frederick C. Nelson, son of Carl S. and Gladys (Frederick) Nelson, born in Charles City, Iowa on Nov. 2, 1921.
Fred graduated from Charles City High School in 1939 where he marched in the band. After working briefly in Charles City he later entered the US Army Air Force and graduated as an aviation cadet in the class of 1944. Fred was stationed predominantly in the Solomon Islands and in the Pacific Theater as a B-24 pilot with the 5th Bomb Group (H). He and his crew flew over 80 missions. Toward the end of the war Fred joined the ferry command transferring mostly airplanes from the factories but also some interesting missions like delivering 60 B-24s with Chinese pilots, general officers and crew to China. Fred continued in his military career after the war and served in the Air Force reserves and back in active duty again for the Korean War. His final station with the reserves was as Commander of the 8th Air Rescue Squadron in Grand Island, refueling F-102 fighter jets for a mission with North American Air Defense in 1966. He retired as a Major in the USAF.
Fred also had varied civilian careers and retired from the FAA in 1985.
He married Laveta Lou LaJoie, of Stanberry Mo. on June 30, 1945. After four children and 41 years of marriage they divorced in 1986.
Fred was known for taking the family on picnics, ice skating, swimming, bicycle riding, Disneyland, ball games, stock car races, circuses, zoos, and whatever they would like to do. He spent large amounts of time in his later life with his grandsons Mark Becher of Lincoln and Cole Osborne who also lived in Aurora before settling in Colorado. He was especially proud of helping them and his children all understand and appreciate his perspectives on life. He was very easygoing in his outlook and in his language. When faced with a choice he would often say, “I don’t know -- flip a coin.” He coined many other early phrases of today’s texting in his letters and often signed off YELF, for your ever loving father. He was affectionately known to everyone as Grandpa and that name even went on his trailer court in Aurora.
Fred was an active member of the morning coffee group at the Early Riser Café in Aurora as well as another coffee group of former friends and workmates in Grand Island every afternoon. He zipped back and forth between the two cities every day in his Ford Focus which he called his go-kart.
Before Fred moved to Aurora he had also earned his wings as a Certified Goodfellow of the QBs. The Quiet Birdmen is an ancient and secret order not completely unlike the Early Riser Coffee Club. The QBs merely focused their storytelling on air exploits and flying. Fred also was a long time advocate and supporter of the Lions Club and of the VFW where he recently was recognized with over 70 years of membership.
Fred was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Helen Nelson Ferch, as well as his former wife, Laveta Lou, and a great grandson, Keegan Osborne.
He is survived by his brother, Robert George Nelson, of Richardson, Texas; and four children, Linda Nelson Becher; Stephen Frederick (Teresa) Nelson, Jennifer Nelson (Mark) Petty and David Lynn (Beth) Nelson; nine grandchildren, Mark A. (Sonia) Becher, Laura Becher (Brian) Mattuch, Cole T. (Erica) Osborne, Jaci Nelson (Jamie) Walrath, Juli Nelson, Nick Nelson, Sarah Petty (Mike) Trujillo, Veronica Petty; Erika (Mark) Tieszen and Candace (Jason) Salazar; 11 great-grandchildren, Daniel Becher, Cristina Becher, Susana Becher, Hines Michael Mattuch, Julius Tyler Osborne, Xander Frederick Dean Osborne, Bryant Austin Osborne, Alexia Marie Trujillo, Joeli Walrath, Justice Clemence Fackler , Carlei Johanna Fackler , Cruz Salazar, Adrian Salazar and Matthew Hoff.