Richard Cornelius Nelson 1942 - 2022

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Richard Cornelius Nelson passed away June 7, 2022, in the comfort of his home. He was born August 19, 1942, to Richard and Marion Nelson in Salem, Oregon. He attended South Salem High School and Oregon State University. He played football at OSU with the winning 1962 Liberty Bowl team. In recent years, he was inducted into the South Salem High School Hall of Fame, Oregon State University Hall of Fame and the Oregon Sports Hall of Fame along with his Liberty Bowl teammates.

Rick spent more than 20 years in the U.S. Army, starting out as a young Captain in the Oregon State University ROTC program. In his first tour of duty, he was deployed to Vietnam in 1965. Rick then went through flight school to fly the OV-I Mohawk in a number of missions in the war.

He also held positions in the Army, including Commander of Wheeler Air Force Base. During his time in the military, Rick was awarded a number of medals, including the Purple Heart.

He retired as the Military Science Professor at OSU and pursued a career with Evergreen International Aviation in McMinnville, Oregon.

In his free time, Rick enjoyed watching his grandchildren’s sporting events, playing golf and celebrating anything OSU. Go Beavs!

He is survived by his wife, Holly Nelson; his sister, Judy Brown; his brother, David Nelson; his children, Scott Nelson, Kelly Candanoza, Brandon Nelson, Keri Tripiano and Alison Latham-Ocampo; and six grandchildren.

Services will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at Willamette National Cemetery. A celebration of life will be held immediately following at Curry’s Landing at Charbonneau.


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