Louis Henry Nelson - 1944 - 2019

Louis Henry Nelson, age 75, of McMinnville, Oregon, passed away peacefully at home August 29, 2019.
He was born March 6, 1944, to Joe and Geraldine Nelson in National City, California. His life was soon introduced to farming on a chicken ranch in the remote hills of Fort Bragg in Northern California, where he played in the forests of the great Redwoods. He exchanged his playground among the Redwoods for the pastoral lowlands of Escondido and the San Pasqual Valley at the age of 10. During high school he worked milking cows at a nearby dairy, the industry that eventually became his career path.
Following high school, a young and free-spirited Louie hit the road behind the wheel of his Mustang. - college, Hollywood, the beats of L.A. nightclubs - and then ... a dance with the gorgeous, tall, red-haired Rolling Stones fan in black Go-Go boots!  A Carson City chapel, a shared wooden ring, and the two rebellious newlyweds woke up to the music of "Strawberry Alarm Clock" and rode on the wings of "Jefferson Airplane" to the streets of San Francisco "with flowers in her hair." The young hippies reveled in the "Cheap Thrills" of Haight-Ashbury, concerts at Winterland and The Fillmore, and flipping through albums in record stores for their next three dollar vinyl.
From the Bay Area the couple moved north, Louie milking cows in California's dairy communities and enjoying rural living once again. The fertile farmlands of the Willamette Valley tempted him with opportunity, and he moved his family to Oregon in 1976. He continued milking cows, becoming a milk tester for DHIA in Salem in 1977. He established his own company, NW Milk Testing in 1994. He worked long hours, through nights and days, to the rhythms of milking parlors across the Northwest, collecting milk samples and processing data for dairy farmers. Well-respected for his work in the industry, Louie carried his career from paper and pencil work to the speed and ease of hand-held computers.
Louie lived a life nurtured by nature, his childhood discoveries and dreams flowing into his adventurous adulthood.
Rafting the Deschutes, hiking Pacific NW forest trails, hunting in the Strawberry Mountains, biking the Yamhill countryside. His travels included annual trips to the spring baseball training camps of Phoenix and this year's adventure to Alicante, Spain, where he strolled in the sunshine and the sweet smell of oranges with his three generations of beloved redheads... and none of them wearing Go-Go boots.
His life was deeply rooted in the soils of the earth he walked upon. Always first to arrive the morning of grape harvest, his smile filled the totes and hauled the bounty to the winery. He grew an abundance of tomatoes, corn and beans on his country hillside, filling the tables of friends and community.
A deep love of R&B moved Louie's spirit through life. A blanket, a cold beer, a group of friends and Louie could be found tuning his inner guitar with the pulses of Portland's Waterfront Blues Festival every July. He was known among friends for his humor and storytelling, drawn out like a long Paul Butterfield harmonica intro and ending three days later with the guitar chords of Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
Louie is survived by his wife of 51 years, Terry Nelson; children, Sara Chaufty and Jorgen Nelson (Amy); grandchildren, Madisyn Chaufty, Delaney Chaufty and Max Nelson; and sister, Carol McIntire (Lee) of Beaumont, California.
For our friend Louie and the love he shared,... "Remember, tick tock, tick tock, tick tock, people, Time's tickin' away," (Vaughan Brothers). A celebration of Louie's life will be at harvest on a date that only the grapes will tell.
To leave condolences, visit www.macyandson.com.


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