Born Saturday, February 9, 1924
Died Friday, November 22, 2019
“Ever heard of Saipan?” he would ask. And then Coleman Nelson would tell you it’s the largest of the Northern Mariana Islands, on the Pacific Ocean. He was a very young Marine when he fought and fell there from a bullet wound in World War II on July 4th, 1944. He would tell you how they put him on the Hospital Ship for evaluation, first in the lower deck. He learned later that this was procedure for patients not likely to survive. But he held on and was moved to a higher unit where he could feel sunshine. “That made the difference”, he said. He would tell the whole story, except the part about being awarded the Purple Heart. That was Coleman, a humble man who would never boast about a military decoration, or anything else. And he didn’t have to. Everyone who knew him found something wonderful and honorable in him.
Coleman was born on February 9, 1924 in Tuskahoma, Oklahoma to Monroe Nelson and Demma (Moon) Nelson. He left to reunite with wife Fleeta on November 22, 2019. For the 95 years that fell between, Coleman was kind and loving in every family role: son, brother, husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather. Everyone was welcome at his house; everyone found love, patience and generosity. Coleman was the oak and the anchor at the center of the Nelson family, especially when Fleeta was by his side. They found strength in each other and he missed her every day after her passing on June 8, 2016.
Coleman is survived by his sister, June Tarr of Austin Texas; two sons, Dr. Jim Nelson, and wife Mary Gail of Wagoner, OK and Dr. Bill Goad, and wife Rita of Edmond, Oklahoma; two daughters, Vicky Watkins of Muskogee and Nancy Murray, and husband Jimmy, of Acworth, Georgia; two daughters-in-law, Cheryl Nelson-Bowyer of Muskogee, and husband Butch Bowyer, and Dr. Adrienne Ruby of Winslow, Arizona; grandchildren, Shane Nelson, and wife Heather of Oklahoma City, OK Jody Nelson of Muskogee, OK; Becky Frye and husband John of Kansas City, MO, Mary Katherine Nelson of Tulsa OK, Rueben Nelson of Kansas City, MO; Amy Ashing and husband Michael of Muskogee OK, LeeAnn Garland and husband Rodney of Muskogee OK; Ashley Knickmeyer and husband John of Norman, OK, Addison Watkins and wife Sandy of Glenco, OK; Spencer Goad and wife Vanessa of Orlando, FL, Kelci Fowler and husband Kevin of Edmond, OK, Parker Goad and Bryson Goad of Edmond OK; Macy Murray and Braden Murray of Acworth GA; great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
Coleman was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Leonard Nelson and Cecil Nelson; two sisters, Paula Patton and Lenora McKibbon; two sons, Larry Nelson and John Nelson.
A celebration service will be held for Coleman on Tuesday, November 26, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 North York, Muskogee, Oklahoma, with Dr. Bill Goad officiating. Interment will follow at Green Hill Cemetery. Pallbearers will be grandsons, Shane Nelson, Jody Nelson, Rueben Nelson, Spencer Goad, Parker Goad, Bryson Goad, Addison Watkins and Braden Murray. Honorary Pallbearers are granddaughters Becky Frye, Mary Katherine Nelson, Amy Ashing, LeeAnn Garland, Ashley Knickmeyer, Kelci Fowler and Macy Murray.
Friends are welcome to drop in at Cornerstone between 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. on Monday, November 25, 2019, to remember Coleman’s life with those who were truly blessed to be in his family.
Funeral services are under the direction of Cornerstone Funeral Home, 1830 North York Street, Muskogee Oklahoma. Condolences can be made at Cornerstoneofmuskogee.com.