Arthur K. Nelson

February 12th, 2012
Nelson, Arthur K., age 95, a resident of Reading for over 40 years, died peacefully at the Sawtelle Family Hospice House in Reading, MA after an illness of several months; husband of the late Winifred (Pirie) Nelson.  He was born in 1916 in Malden, MA to George and Mary (Sorensen) Nelson.  He attended Malden High School and remained in the Falls Estates area of Malden most of his life, until moving to Reading in 1970.  Master Mason for 65 years, Converse Lodge.  He was first employed at Atlantic Shipways & Drydock in East Boston, where he tended hard-hat divers.  He later worked for Bethlehem Steel in East Boston.  In 1943, he joined the Navy Construction Battalion or  “Seabees,” 129th Battalion, and later the 1040th, serving as a Carpenter’s Mate First Class.  He earned a World War II Victory Medal; European-African Middle Eastern Medal – 1 star, and an American Area Medal and was honorably discharged on November 11, 1945.
He served in Tunis, Naples and Southern France, and enjoyed telling stories of “cumshaw,” that is, liberating local equipment and motors to repair and invent new tools needed by the Seabees.  This began his lifelong career and avocation of carpentry and repairing and restoring any type of machinery.  While in living in Malden, he also built wooden boats in the backyards of the many apartments he and Winnie rented over the years.  He left each of these apartments in better condition than he found them, making repairs and rebuilding the cabinetry.  Mr. Nelson worked with tools his whole life, as a union carpenter.  His was employed as a carpenter making repairs on the USS Constitution in the 1950s.  Arthur was a member of the Carpenter’s Union Local 214 in Malden.
Arthur was an outdoorsman and hunter who enjoyed hunting trips to rustic locales, and was fortunate to have many strong, lifelong friendships with kindred spirits including Robert Hawkes and Bob Baker, with whom he took many hunting and fishing trips to Maine and New Brunswick.  He was a member of the Danvers Fish and Game Club and the Minuteman Sportsman’s Club where he was passionate about trapshooting, and was known as a serious cribbage player.
He remained active well into retirement, as a golf course groomer and machinery repairer at Lynnfield Golf Club, now Reedy Meadows.  He is survived by his son Peter Nelson and wife Karen of Wilmington, and Peter’s children Matthew Nelson of Wilmington, MA and Elizabeth Nelson of Jersey City, NJ, and numerous nieces and nephews, with special affection for Dennis Nelson.  He is predeceased by his wife Winifred (Pirie) who died in 1999 and his eight siblings:  brothers Herbert, Leslie, Eugene, George and Frank, and sisters Harriet, Marian and Virginia.
Family and friends will gather at the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, on Thursday, February 16th for Visitation from 11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. followed by a Funeral Service with Military Honors at 1:00 p.m.  It has been requested that in lieu of flowers donations in Arthur’s name be made to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital, West 1 Unit, 170 Governor’s Ave., Medford, MA  02155

4 Entries in Guest Book for “Arthur K. Nelson”

  1. Dennis W Nelson says:

    Love you uncle, rest in peace, Dennis.

  2. Randy and Glenna Vail--New Brunswick says:

    So sorry to hear of Arthurs passing.I had the honour of hunting and just spending quality time with Arthur and his friends for the last thirty years here in Canada.He was a true gentleman and friend.Glenna,my wife,always enjoyed the times when Arthur wiuld visit our home with Bob and Mike.He will always be in our hearts. Randy and Glenna Vail

  3. Peter & Vail says:

    We are saddened to learn of Arthur’s passing. A gentleman through and through; the Fall in New Brunswick was always brightened by Arthur’s presence and his sense of humour. I spent many a hunting season with him tucked under a few trees on the marsh in Coles Island and whether we were successful or not; he was always happy. A great man, we will miss him.

    Peter & Liane Vail
    Fredericton, N.B.

  4. Iris Nelson says:

    Rest in peace, Grandpa. Iris

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