Memorial service December 9th for Andy Nelson, 1920-2016

Viewing, burial, and memorial dates are set for Andrew “Andy” L. Nelson, 95, and his family is sharing this remembrance with the community:

Andrew (Andy) Louis Nelson climbed his last mountain on Wednesday, November 23rd (just shy of his 96th birthday), at The Kenney in West Seattle. Andy was born in Seattle on December 10, 1920, to George Gedeon Nelson and Bertha Amelia Lindfors Nelson. Andy’s grandfather Andrew Nelson was a Swedish immigrant and pioneer in the Juanita area who built the Juanita School and the Modern Woodman Hall (Juanita Community Church). The Nelson family home, built by Andy’s grandfather at 100th NE & NE 132nd, was torn down in the 1970’s to make way for an Albertson’s grocery store.

Even at a young age Andy was an outdoor guy; he loved scouting and the mountains. There is some evidence that he even won a 1934 Seattle Model Sailboat Race at Green Lake.

Andy graduated from Lincoln High School in 1939 and then attended the University of Washington, graduating in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. Having served in the UW ROTC program (Sept 1942), Andy entered the Army Air Corps as a 2nd Lieutenant in February 1944.

Andy served as an Electronics Officer during WWII instructing pilots on navigation systems. He was awarded the Asiatic Pacific Theatre Ribbon; America Theatre Ribbon; World War II Victory Medal as well as numerous commendations. Towards the end of WWII Andy was promoted to 1st Lieutenant. After his discharge from the Army, Andy was advised that as a Mathematics teacher he would not earn much money and he enrolled at the UW for a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

Andy’s business career was at Boeing as an Engineer writing technical manuals for aeronautical applications.

As an Eagle Scout (1937), Andy gave back to the community in so many ways. He was a Life Member of the Mountaineers, Life Member of the UW Alumni Association (Go Dawgs!), Boy Scouts of America Troop #282 Leader (recognized for his over 60 years in scouting), West Seattle Lions Club, West Side Presbyterian Church and an all-around wilderness adventurer who shared his love of hiking and mountain climbing (he climbed Mt Rainier twice) with many. Andy “walked the walk; talked the talk” when it came to understanding the environmental issues in keeping “the great outdoors” great.

While Andy had no children of his own, his wife, the late Doris Isabella Powell Halliday Nelson, presented him with a family of stepchildren, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, all who thoroughly enjoyed him. Doris and Andy spent many years traveling throughout the world – from Elder Hostels and UW trips across America to Europe to Australia; Antarctica; the Arctic; Africa; Asia; Central & South America, etc.

Andy is survived by his step-daughter Diane Halliday Longyear of Elko, Nevada, and her son Rick Longyear (also of Elko) and children/grandchildren; the children & family of her son Robert (deceased) Longyear; nephew William R. Powell of Chehalis; nieces Bonny Powell Taylor of Kent; Patricia Powell McGuire (Joe) of Manchester; and their families consisting of great- & great-great-nephews and -nieces.

The family would also like to acknowledge and thank longtime friends Gary Benson; Warren McKinstry; Paul Smith; Rev. Ron Rice; Stacy St. John; Ron Burke; and Bill Hart for their friendship, rides, stories, etc. We so appreciate your friendship with Andy and your stories! And a special thank you to all the past Troop 282 members. Last, but not certainly least, is a special thank you for the wonderful staff at The Kenney/Lincoln Vista and the Kline Galland Hospice – what a wonderful group of caring individuals!

The family requests that in lieu of flowers and in keeping with Andy’s pattern of giving, contributions in his memory to any of the following organizations would be appreciated: The Seattle Council Boy Scouts of America; West Seattle Senior Center; West Seattle Food Bank; Southwest Seattle Historical Museum; The Kenney Foundation; The Nordic Museum; or The Mountaineers.

A viewing will be held on December 1st from 11 am – 1 pm at Forest Lawn Funeral Home with military graveside service at 2 pm at Evergreen Washelli. Memorial service on December 9th at 11 am at West Side Presbyterian Church with reception to follow. Please visit

(WSB publishes West Seattle obituaries by request, free of charge. Please e-mail the text, and a photo if available, to

4 Replies to "Memorial service December 9th for Andy Nelson, 1920-2016"

  • Peter November 28, 2016 (8:27 am)

    Andy was a great guy who influenced many.  He will be greatly missed.

  • dsa November 28, 2016 (10:48 am)

    Andy has been a scouting leader of leaders forever.

  • Kraig November 28, 2016 (5:03 pm)

    Andy was a significant influence in my early years and some of the lessons he taught me have served me well.  It was comforting to know he was happy and had a supportive family.  I have the highest respect for what he did for me and my friends in scouting.  This man walked the talk.  I will miss him.

  • Barb November 28, 2016 (10:38 pm)

    Andy and Doris weee great community people. I learned so. I hope from them about neighbors and community. A great loss to all of us.

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