American Veteran 01

Robert Earl Nelson

May 2, 1939 ~ February 16, 2024 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Robert Nelson Obituary

Robert Earl Nelson (Bob), age 84, went to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, on Friday, February 16, 2024.  Bob was born in Brainerd, Minnesota on May 2, 1939.  He was preceded in death by his father, Benjamin Franklin Robert Nelson; mother, Colette Kathryn McCarthy; son, Stewart Nelson; and sisters, Margaret Joan Whitley and Mary Grace Cude.  He is survived by his devoted wife, Debra D. Nelson; brother, William Nelson; son, Bradford Nelson; granddaughter, Dr. Theresa Nelson; grandson, Trent Nelson; and pets, BooBoo (a 15 year old Shih Tzu); and Smokey (a 13 year old Tabby).

Bob enlisted in the United States Air Force and attended Auburn University while in the service. Bob graduated with a Bachelor of Industrial Engineering.  Bob served his country in Vietnam from 1969 to 1971.  He was an Aircraft/Avionics Maintenance Staff Officer and was selected to attend Squadron Officer School. Bob received many medals and commendations while in the Air Force, including the Combat Crew Badge, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry Cross, and the Republic of Vietnam Campaign Meda. While in the Air Force, Bob was transferred to many places, at least ten moves across eight states.  He lived in Vietnam; Riverside, California; and Hickory, North Carolina, to name a few.  Bob served his country for twenty-one years and retired as a Captain from the Air Force on December 31, 1978.

After moving to Niceville, Florida, Bob earned his Investment Broker’s License and assisted clients at Edward Jones, Nelson Investments, and Raymond James Offices.  Bob also earned his Health Insurance Agent License and worked with a team at Erskine Benefits to provide exceptional customer service to their clients by providing Medicare, United Health Care, and Humana Healthcare Plans, among others.  Bob had a quick wit and was fun to be around.  Bob will be greatly missed by his family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and clients.

Bob was a Christian and attended services at Episcopal, Baptist, Catholic and Non-Denominational Churches.  Most recently, he enjoyed listening to religious services on television from pastors with Shepherd’s Chapel and Les Feldick Ministries.  Bob loved animals and enjoyed watching the cardinals, wrens, nuthatches, and blue jays that visited our bird feeder. He especially enjoyed watching the black capped chickadees that utilized our birdhouse to raise their hatchlings and to teach them to fly.  Several years ago, Bob received a phone call from a friend about a dog needing a new home.  The dog was BooBoo, and he was supposed to be a show dog, but unfortunately he was too bowlegged to qualify.  So, tender-hearted Bob drove from Niceville to North Carolina to pick up the dog and bring him home! Bob loved to fly airplanes and once owned a beautiful blue and white Mooney two-seater.  He was an avid Auburn football fan and enjoyed watching football with his loving wife, Debra; despite her being an avid fan of Auburn’s biggest rival, Alabama!  Bob also loved golf.  He enjoyed playing it as well as watching it on television.  Bob was quite athletic and enjoyed water and snow skiing, among other sports.  Bob would also ride his ten-speed across the 3.6 mile Mid Bay Bridge and onto the Destin beach; trips that made his wife very nervous!  Bob had a great sense of humor and enjoyed telling jokes and passing on funny stories from his past.  Bob would also serenade his wife, Debra, by singing classic songs by Frank Sinatra, Lionel Richie, Otis Redding, Elvis, and the Bee Gees, among other artists.

We loved Bob very much and will always cherish the time and memories we shared.  Bob, we look forward to seeing you in Heaven one day. 

The visitation will be Sunday, February 25, 2024, from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at Davis Watkins Funeral Home, located at 113 Racetrack Road Northeast in Fort Walton Beach, Florida.  The funeral will be Monday at 10:00 a.m. at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Florida. Those wishing to attend, please be at Davis Watkins at 8:00 am.  The procession to the cemetery will leave Davis Watkins promptly at 8:30 am.

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February 25, 2024

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Davis-Watkins Funeral Home
113 Racetrack Road, N.E.
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547

Graveside Service
February 26, 2024

10:00 AM
Barrancas National Cemetery
1 Cemetery Road
Pensacola, FL 32508


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