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Joe B. Nelson

07/05/1936 - 11/09/2021
Visitation Date: 11/12/2021
Visitation Time: 6:30PM - 8:30PM
Visitation Location: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - 2414 N. Old Gilbert Road, Mesa, Arizona 85213
Interment: City of Mesa Cemetery

Joe Bernard Nelson, age 85, was born in Phoenix, Arizona, on July 5, 1936, to Samuel Bernard Nelson and Viola Virginia Werner.  He had one older sister, Shirley Ann Nelson Sherwood, who passed in April of this year.

Joe graduated from Mesa High School in 1954.  Prior to serving a thirty-six month church mission in Uruguay, Joe completed a year and one quarter at Brigham Young University.  Upon his return from South America, Joe attended Arizona State University graduating in 1962 with a degree in accounting.  He successfully completed the certified public accounting exam five years later and founded his own firm which ultimately became known as Nelson, Lambson & Co., CPAs.  He was a good friend to his partners, a fair boss to his employees and greatly respected by his clients and business associates.

Joe and his first wife, Janille Roberts Mullins, have three children:  Jason Bernard Nelson (deceased in 2004), Julie Ann Connolly and Jennifer Jo Higby.  Joe is also survived by his son-in-law, Arthur Higby, who is like a son to him.  Joe has twelve grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.  He and his second wife, Susan Walsh Nelson, enjoyed thirty-five years of marriage.  They served two missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and had been Mesa Temple workers several years ago.

Joe lived a wonderful, full life.  His heart was generous to a fault.  While he struggled with memory, he never struggled with his love of family and dear friends. And he never lost his sense of humor.

He was lovingly cared for the last six months by true angels from Angel Home Healthcare including Jim, Patti, Frank, David, Joe and many others plus tender nurses from Hospice at Home of Arizona, especially Cassi Partridge.  Words cannot express how grateful our family is for all their love and kindness.

“What a wonderful thing is death, really, when all is said and done.  It is the great reliever.  It is a majestic, quiet passing on from this life to another life, a better life.  We go to a place where we will not suffer as we have suffered here, but where we will continue to grow, accumulating knowledge, developing and being useful under the plan of the Almighty made possible through the atonement of the Son of God.”

At Joe’s request, there will be a public viewing for family and friends Friday evening November 12 from 6:30-8:30pm at the LDS chapel located at 2414 N. Old Gilbert Road and a private graveside service for immediate family the next morning.  In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to a charity of your choice.

Arrangements by Bunker’s Garden Chapel, www.bunkerfuneral.com. Should this obituary appear anywhere but www.bunkerfuneral.com, please check our website for accurate details and service information.


  • Lisa and Ken Bawden

    Dear family of Joe…and his sweet wife and dear friend, Susan, This obituary is beautifully written and expresses and describes not only his wonderful life and accomplishments, but the beautiful testimony you all share of the PLAN and how marvelous it is! Thank you for these beautiful words, it touched me greatly and our prayers are with you all. I love you dear Susan…and May you feel continued peace knowing your Prince Charming is free and happy again and doing much good on the other side now! ❤️❤️❤️ Love and HUGS..from Lisa XOXOX

  • Deepest condolences to the Higby family and all of Joe’s loving family members. He was deeply loved. His work ethic and sense of humor definitely were passed on to his Higby granddaughters. He is so proud of the beautiful, strong women you have all become (just like your momma). Love and prayers as you celebrate the amazing life of your Papa.

  • Hyrum and I will miss you, Joe! It was a pleasure to have known you so well, not only through friendship but also by reading your personal history. We will forever love Susan in your absence.

  • Steve & Jan Dolter

    We are sorry to hear of Joe’s passing, as he was a good neighbor. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those who loved him.

  • Joe was a good friend. His self deprecating humor and witty remarks are a treasured memory.

  • Susan.
    At a time like this, it is hard to put into words what the heart wishes to express. Know you are in my prayers at this bitter/sweat time. I will always be grateful to you and Joe for your goodness and kindness.

  • Dave and Debbie Jensen

    Joe was the best home teacher ever! We will miss his sweet testimony and great personality. We sure love you both.

  • Troy and Judith Williams

    We are so sad to hear of your passing. Joe always had a great smile and greeting and we enjoyed his funny humor. He was always so kind and was a joy to talk with. He will be missed. We look forward to seeing you again someday to catch up on all your wonderful stories. Farewell our friend Joe!

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