NAPLES, Fla. -- Don Nelson, 85, of Naples, Fla., and originally from central Maine, passed away May 15, 2013.
He was a member of the Army Air Corps during World War II. He was an avid fisherman and loved going fishing with his family and his friends.
An accomplished musician, caring teacher, friend, husband, grandfather and great-grandfather, Don brought music to the world around him, starting his career as a professional big band musician touring with Tony Pastor's band where he met his first wife, Norma. He then married and settled in Waterville, Maine, with his family. While living in Maine, he continued to play professionally with the Al Corey band, the Elder's Dixieland Jazz band and the Shrine Circus band. He worked in Al Corey's Music Store for many years before going back to college to get his teaching degree. This enabled him to teach young musicians as a junior high school music teacher and a founder of the Maine Jazz Camp. After "retiring," he played summers at the Mount Washington Hotel with the Fred Petra Band, traveled in their motor home and played with Bob Snyder and Jordan Ross in Naples, Fla., during the winter season for many years before permanently moving to Naples, where he continued to play during the snowbird season.
Don is survived by his wife, Lorraine Belanger Nelson; dog Bella; daughters Karen Hayward (husband Bill) and Kathy Jo Nelson; granddaughters Carolyn Breton (husband Mitchell) and Stephanie Pelton-Hayward (husband Rick Pelton); great-grandchildren Kurtis and Bret Breton; and brothers Sheldon "Bob" and Nels "Bud."
Don is predeceased by his first wife, Norma; and brother Francis "Buster."
Don requested that there be no memorial service. Don will be laid to rest at the Maine Veterans' Memorial Cemetery in Augusta, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, his family asks that donations be made in Don's name to the Maine Jazz Camp. Maine Jazz Camp, University of Maine Farmington, Mallet Hall, Farmington, ME 04938.