Richard Cole Nelson, age 86, of Morton, passed away on Thursday, March 27, 2014 at Riverview Manor Care in East Peoria.
Dick was born on April 18, 1927 in Peoria, IL to Hugh E. and Ruth Leone (Hill) Nelson. He married Dorothy May Smith on March 31, 1956. She preceded him in death in February of 2008. He was also preceded in death by his parents; his daughter and her husband, Maribeth and Roger Lewis, both in 2010; his son, Stuart Nelson in May of 2007; and his sister, Jeane "Gigi" Wood in August of 2009.
Dick served in the U.S. Navy during WWII as Assistant to the Commander of the troop ship, Telfair. After serving in the war, Dick attended Eureka College, where he played football and baseball. After graduating from Eureka, Dick continued to play hardball and fast-pitch softball for many years and played two years of semi-pro football for the Peoria Rockets. Dick worked in Sales for the Food Service Industry. He managed the kitchen and serving areas for Illinois Central College and design the new kitchen and serving areas for ICC. He also owned Court Street Steak House in Pekin and The Pilot Club near the Peoria Airport. Dick was a member of the American Legion Post 979 and he was a die-hard Chicago Cubs Fan.
Cremation rites will be accorded and there will be no services. Inurnment will be at Resurrection Cemetery at a later date. A Celebration of Life will be held on April 26, 2014 at the American Legion Post 979 in Bartonville from 12pm to 3pm. Military honors will be at 12pm the buffet will begin shortly after. Memorials may be made to the Dick Nelson Scholarship Fund at Eureka College in Illinois.