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.