NELSON TURNER ALLISON
ODESSA Nelson Turner Allison, 81, a longtime resident and educator of Odessa, passed away Monday, June 6, 2011 at Medical Center Hospital. He was born January 1, 1930 to parents Joseph Carroll and Lillie Mae Allison.
Nelson received a BA degree from Hardin Simmons University in 1951 and began his teaching career at Knox City, TX. After one year, he was drafted into the army at Fort Bliss where he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant, serving as the clerk to the Colonel in charge. It was after his army career that he chose to pursue his Masters Degree in History at the University of Texas in Austin. Post graduate studies were also done at Texas A&M, Columbia and Peabody Universities. Nelson continued his teaching career in Pecos, TX before moving to Odessa in 1956, where he taught sixth grade at Reagan Elementary. He was named principal of Gonzales Elementary where he remained for 28 years before retiring in 1992.
Nelson's love for each of his students was his first priority, and his influence over their lives on even in their adult lives. He never met a person who did not become a good friend.
After his retirement, Nelson devoted himself to many philanthropic and civic projects in our community. He served on the boards of Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale for over 2 decades, Odessa Council for the Arts and Humanities, Keeping Odessa Beautiful and Child's Play. In addition, he volunteered his time on several school committees and was a charter member of the First Baptist Church Orchestra.
During the 80's, Nelson became interested in playing the harp. He always dreamed of building a harp program in Odessa, and after his retirement in 1992, he became instrumental in the establishment of the harp program in the ECISD schools. Due to his tireless efforts, the harp program continues to flourish as the only program of its kind in the state of Texas.
Throughout his lifetime, Nelson received numerous awards and accolades, including the award of Excellence in community Service by the Heritage of Odessa Foundation and the Odessa American in 2004 and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Odessa Council of the Arts and Humanities in 2005.
Nelson was preceded in death by his parents and brothers, Carroll, Winston and John, and one sister, Verne. He is survived by siblings Grady Allison of Alachua, Florida, James Allison of Austin, TX, Edith Foster of Eastland, TX and Betty Beaty of the Colony, TX, and numerous nephews and nieces, former colleagues, students and close friends who were family to him. Interment took place at the Eastland Cemetery in Eastland, TX with the Judge Wright officiating. A Memorial Service will be held at First Baptist Church in Odessa on Tuesday, June 21, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. with the Rev. Curtis Brewer officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Nelson's memory to the Midland-Odessa Symphony and Chorale, First Baptist Church Orchestra, the American Cancer Society or the memorial fund in Nelson Allison's name payable to the University of Texas at Austin, Butler School of Music, 1 University Station, E 3100, Austin, Texas 78712-0435.
Services entrusted to Hubbard-Kelly Funeral Home.