James C. Nelson

James “Jim” Nelson, a beloved father and friend, passed away on Friday, June 2, 2023.

Funeral services will be held Monday, June 12, 2023, at the Donnell – Wiegand Funeral Home in Greenville, Illinois. Interment will follow in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. Friends may gather at the funeral home at 11:00 a.m. A processional will leave from the funeral home to the cemetery at 11:45 a.m. and full military honors will be given to Mr. Nelson graveside. In Liew of flowers, donations can be made in Jim’s name to the El Cajon Valley Lions Foundation c/o Paul Tremblay, PO Box 1087, El Cajon, CA 92022. http://www.ecvlionsclub.com

James Carlyle Nelson was born on February 10, 1938 in Albert Lea, Minnesota, James was the son of the late Marcus and Alvina. He was married to Marge Forchette for almost 25 years until her death in January 2020.

He is survived by his Daughter Lynne (Ted) Harty, Cape Coral, Florida, son Marcus (Beth) Nelson, Long Prairie, Minnesota, and Daughter Pendra (Ed) Bell, Methuen, Massachusetts, as well as Marge’s children, Nick Forchette, Hugo, Minnesota and Lora Brown, El Cajon, California. James also has two sisters, Lois (Lyle) Doebbeling, Cambridge, Minnesota and Shirley Sorenson, Apple Valley, Minnesota. His sister, Betty and her husband Jay Bjornson, Minnesota, preceded James in death.

He grew up in Albert Lea, living on what is now part of the Myre-Island State Park. He had his first acting experience in a 9th grade school assembly where his teacher said he should go into acting – which he did later in life. He left High School and joined the Air Force where he was trained to work with heavy ground radar. This training dovetailed into his working with the phone company where he retired after 30 years. During his time with the phone company, he traveled to Saudi Arabia twice, and after his retirement, went to Brunei twice for additional work.

He enjoyed creating – he dug an underground “house” as a teenager, built a TV from a Radio Shack kit, built a family home in Julian, and lovingly made his home in El Cajon a wonderful place to live. When he moved from Minnesota to Julian, California with his then-wife Doris and their daughter Pendra, he tried out for the part of the villain in the local Melodrama. He was so good that he played that part for several years. His acting took him to a bigger stage with the Pine Hills Lodge in Julian CA, where he performed many plays over the years. He was also on the small screen, where he portrayed several “bad characters” in episodes of America’s Most Wanted, Renegade and The Boss Moves and The Mean Boss.

When Jim sold his home in El Cajon, he stayed with his daughter Lynn and her husband Ted in Florida between Thanksgiving and the New Year. He really enjoyed seeing the sights and traveling around with them and loved to eat. Once he moved back to California, he moved into an independent living apartment and enjoyed the people and activities they provided him. He was active in the glee club, playing cribbage and poker, as well as the happy hour musical entertainment they had. When he moved to Massachusetts, he was getting to know the smaller group of residents, and was playing poker, cribbage and attending happy hour events as well. In his short time in Andover, he made an impression on the residents and staff and will be missed by them all.

Jim was a devoted Lions Club member and served in many positions over his 50 year affiliation. He enjoyed the community of Lions and their mission of helping others. He was a member of the El Cajon Valley Lions before moving to Andover, Massachusetts. He went to his first meeting in Andover and was looking forward to joining their group and getting involved.

Previous articleVacant House Fire In Sorento Monday
Next articleMary Isadora (Turley) Kasmark