Paul Erland Nelson, 79, of Boston, formerly a longtime resident of Chelmsford, passed away peacefully at Parlin Hospice in Wayland on Thursday, May 30, 2019, after a long illness, surrounded by his loving family. He was the beloved husband of Mary-Verdella (Wagner) Nelson with whom he would have celebrated 56 years of marriage on June 22, 2019.
He was born in Montclair, New Jersey on August 29, 1939, and was a son of the late Erland M. and Mildred (Anderson) Nelson.
He is a graduate of Lafayette College (B.S.) and Drexel University (M.S.) and a lifetime member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. His career as an electrical engineer with Digital Equipment Corporation in computer design and management led him around the world working with international companies.
He served as chairman of Central Congregational Church before moving to Boston where, as chairman of the Board of Trustees, he selflessly managed his condominium association through major reconstruction projects and served on civic committees in his North End neighborhood. With a group of church friends, he helped to build a Christian orphanage in Haiti, through the organization, Hope for the Children of Haiti.
Forever an outdoorsman, he was an Eagle Scout and earned the God and Country Award. He lived for hiking, skiing, jogging, boating, wood chopping, wood working, organ concerts, outdoor time with his grandsons, and grasshopper pies. In retirement he enjoyed traveling for pleasure from the Orkney Islands in Scotland to Antarctica, but his favorite place was always a getaway cabin on Lake Rangeley in Maine where family gathered for 56 summer seasons. He will be remembered as a true gentleman, devoted to his family and friends, but also for his love of puns, New Age music, and fixing whatever needed fixing. He valiantly battled his disease with courageous tenacity and a stubborn desire to continue doing as always before.
In addition to his loving wife, Paul leaves his children, David Nelson of Lowell, MA and Christine Nelson and her husband, Brian O’Neill, of Hudson, MA; his brother, Philip Nelson, of Haddonfield, NJ and sister, Ruth Rizzi, and her partner, Kim-Eric Williams, of Exton, PA; and his grandsons, Adam, Sean, and Ivan O’Neill of Hudson, MA.
Visiting hours will be held on Thursday from 5:00 - 8:00 in the Blake Chelmsford Funeral Home, 24 Worthen St., Chelmsford.. His funeral service will be held on Friday at 1:30 pm at the Central Congregational Church, One Worthen St., Chelmsford. KINDLY MEET AT THE CHURCH. Interment will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Paul's name to the American Parkinson Disease Association, 72 East Concord St., C3, Boston, MA 02118 or apdama.org.