William Otis Nelson (Bill) died December 1, 2012 at age 92. He was born November 23, 1920 at Barber, Arkansas to Pearl Pyles Nelson and Seab Sam Nelson. He was a graduate of Booneville High School and attended Arkansas Tech, Russellville, before enlisting in the Navy. He served four years in the Pacific area during World War II. Under the GI Bill he enrolled at the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and graduated in 1951. After teaching agriculture for one year at Newport, Arkansas, Bill relocated to California where he worked for the State of California Department of Agriculture. After retirement and following the death of his wife he returned to Booneville, Arkansas.
Bill was a Baptist and worked with the State of California Volunteer Missions building churches and homes in California, Idaho and Utah as well as numerous overseas locations. He also helped with disaster relief in Hawaii. He was an active member of Gideons International, the American Legion and was a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans. He was a member of Westwood Baptist Church, Greenwood, Arkansas.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Hattie Nelson (wife) and Althea Nelson (wife). He is survived by three step-children: Harriet Mushett (Jim) of Montague, California, Paul Freshour, Portland, Oregon, and Mary Bertram, Concord, California and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is survived by one sister, Wynema L. Littlefield, Fort Smith and one brother, Talmadge S. Nelson, Fayetteville and many nieces and nephews. Mary Littlefield was a compassionate friend and caregiver.
Funeral service will be 1 p.m., Tuesday December 4, 2012 at Westwood Baptist Church in Greenwood with burial at Glendale Cemetery near Booneville under the direction of McConnell Funeral Home of Greenwood. Viewing will be Monday from 1 – 5 p.m. at the funeral home. Pallbearers will be Aaron Littlefield, Jerald Baker, Brad Arterbury, Bob McNees, Matthew Nelson and Buddy Littlefield.
Memorials can be made to Gideons International or to the Westwood Baptist Church, Greenwood, Arkansas.