Robert ‘Bob’ William Nelson

April 16, 1939 – October 18, 2021
Robert (Bob) William Nelson, 82, of Red Deer, Alberta passed away on October 18, 2021, in the presence of his loving wife and children after a long and courageous battle with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy.
Bob was born on the afternoon of April 16, 1939, at the family farm 10 miles west of Bashaw to Otto and Minnie (Skode) Nelson. Bob was the youngest of seven children. As a child Bob attended Calumet and Mecca Glenn schools until grade 10 and Ponoka High School where he graduated with senior matriculation in 1958. Bob went on to attend the University of Alberta, successfully completing a Bachelor of Science degree in 1962 and a Master of Science degree, with a major in soil fertility, in 1964. Throughout his work career Bob held several senior portfolios with Alberta Agriculture (from 1966-1997). He also taught at both Fairview College and Olds College during his career and served on many agricultural advisory boards and committees. He officially retired, for a second time, in 2002.
Bob’s upbringing on the farm instilled in him a passion for being outdoors and for working in the garden. He could often be found there after a long day at work, as spending time in his garden was both his therapy and his exercise. After his retirement Bob was active in organizing the Kiwanis Festival of Music, curling and golfing with friends, camping, and of course spending time in his garden with his wife Joan. Along with Joan, he also embraced his spirit of adventure, travelling to many places around the world including a road trip to Alaska, a trip through the Norwegian fjords, an African safari, a tour of China, and a trip to Machu Picchu.
Bob is survived by Joan, his loving wife of 57 years; his three children David (Jason), Dale (Kelly) and Karen (Gabriel); four grandchildren Mary, Andrew, Isabel, and Sophie; his sister Marie, and his brothers and sisters in-law Shirley, Joe, John, Ruth, Stan, Cathy; and many loving nieces, nephews, cousins, and close friends.
Bob had a deep love of and commitment to family and friends. His sense of humour and love and genuine interest in others was evident to all who met him. Right up until his final days Bob enjoyed a good laugh. Everyone who had the privilege of knowing him will remember him for his care and concern for others, his big smile and warm hugs, and his never-ending willingness to pitch in and help whenever and wherever needed.
Due to current public health restrictions a small private service will be held on November 5 at 1 pm. A live stream of the service can be viewed at
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