Raymond A. Nelson, 101, passed away Oct. 4, 2019 on Oct. 4, 2019 while a resident of Silver Springs Retirement Facility, Green Valley, AZ. He was born on Sept. 19, 1918, in Chicago, Illinois, and was the husband of Helen (Yirsa) Nelson (dec.), son of Arthur and Eleanor Nelson (dec.), brother of Harriette Nelson (dec.), brother-in-law of Kenneth Nelson (dec.), John F. Yirsa (dec.), Irene Yirsa, (dec.), Alvina Oechslin (dec.). Nephews Richard Nelson (dec.), (Mary, John), Ronald Nelson (Beverly) (Morgan, Kristen), Robert Nelson (Jane), John W. Yirsa (Patrica) (Jennifer, Jason), James Yirsa (dec.), (Lois), (Anne, Carrie).
Raymond Nelson served as a platoon sergeant in the 2nd Infantry Regiment, 5th Infantry Division from April 1941 to June 1945. He was stationed in Fort Custer, Michigan, Iceland, England, Northern Ireland, and saw combat with General Patton's spearhead troops in France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. He was awarded the Bronze Star, Purple Heart (2), Good Conduct, European Theatre of Operations with 3 major battle stars, Combat Infantryman Badge, 6 overseas bars, and most recently was appointed a “Chevalier” (Knight) of the Legion of Honor by decree of French President Francois Hollande.
After the war he married Helen, his wife of 64 years, and started his career in the educational publishing field as a cartographic artist and production manager. They resided in Park Ridge, Hawthorn Woods, Illinois. After retiring in 1985, he and Helen moved to Green Valley, Arizona, where they had their home until 2010 when Helen passed away. Ray then moved into Silver Springs retirement facility where he served as President of the Resident Council and enjoyed the many activities available to the residents.
A memorial service for Ray will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, at 1 p.m. at Silver Springs.