George Edgar Nelson was born March 31, 1930, to Carl Olof Nelson and Hazel Duce in Brooks, Alberta, Canada.
As a boy and a young man, George was blessed to work closely with his father at the Tire Shop, where he developed a love and aptitude for auto mechanics. George also cherished the life stories and lessons received from his father, while working and walking together. He learned tire-vulcanizing and automobile-repair skills from his father and subsequently received his mechanic's license. During those formative years, George's testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ was given birth as he read the Book of Mormon with his mother.
At the age of 12, weighing in at 70 pounds, George was invited to participate in boxing, which quickly became a life-long passion. George became a champion amateur boxer, and later formed his own boxing club in Calgary, Alberta, where he trained many young men in the art of boxing.
George attended Cardston High School, but chose to leave school at the age of 17 following his father's death, in an effort to save the Tire Shop and support his mother and siblings.
On October 5, 1949, George and his sweetheart, Audrey Broadhead, were married in the Cardston, Alberta Temple. Six children were born to this union: Debra (Rockie Palmer); George (Leslie); Brian (Janet), Don (Dottie), Sara Jane (David Graff), and John (Michelle).
In Calgary, George went on to become a transport-refrigeration specialist. He was a hard worker and an entrepreneur, contributing much to the emerging shipping/refrigeration business in both Canada and the United States. In 1964, George and Audrey moved their family to Toronto to expand his business, broadening his roles to become an engineer and inventor.
In 1966, George's career took him and his family to New Jersey, where he worked as an intermodal refrigeration maintenance manager in the shipping industry all along the East Coast. In 1975, he moved to Seattle, Washington, to help build and manage a shipping enterprise to and from Alaska.
After his retirement in 1995, George and Audrey moved back to Cardston, Alberta. In 2007, they moved to Utah to be closer to many of their children and grandchildren. They remained in Utah until his passing on June 25, 2016.
George loved the Savior, and was a devoted husband and father. He had a strong witness of the restored Gospel, loved to serve, and walked without guile. Some of his cherished callings included scoutmaster, home teacher, stake missionary, Seventy, High Priest, High Councilman, Bishopric counselor, and Bishop. He was later called by Elder Neil A. Maxwell to serve as Patriarch in the Kirkland, Washington Stake. Following retirement, George and Audrey served a mission together in Salt Lake City. Most importantly, he served his family.
During the last decades of his life, George memorialized his devotion to the Savior and his family by composing many treasured poems--leaving a legacy of love and faith.
George was preceded in death by his parents, his grandson, Aaron, and five of his siblings. He is survived by his brother Keith, his loving wife Audrey, and their children: Debra (Rocky Palmer), George (Leslie), Brian (Janet), Don (Dottie), Sara (David Graff), John (Michelle), 33 grandchildren, and 49 great-grandchildren.
The family extends their sincere gratitude to Dr. Erika Noonan, the Aspen Senior Center, and Legacy Village in Provo. Their staff and aides were most kind to George. Sincere thanks are also extended to Brighton Home Health & Hospice, to their wonderful staff, and to Wing Mortuary of Lehi.
For a more rounded view from his children, grandchildren, and greatgrandchildren, listen here.