Walter Gerald Nelson, 87, of Bloomington, distinguished attorney, enthusiastic but inexpert golfer and outstanding citizen of the world, died January 6, 2017 at St. Joseph Medical Center surrounded by his family.
Walter was born January 2, 1930 in Peoria, IL, the only son of Walter and Hazel Nelson. He married Mary Ann Olberding on January 28, 1952. She preceded him in death. He married Mary Jo Sunderland on April 6, 1991 in Peoria, IL.
He is survived by his seven children: Ann (Mike) Larkin, Leland, NC; Mike (Pat) Nelson, Bloomington; Sue (Jay) Boor, Springfield, Pat (Lori) Nelson; Mackinaw, Tom (Tracey) Nelson, O’Fallon, MO; Tim (Lorraine) Nelson, Canton, MA; and Molly (Dave) Edwards, Bloomington; 19 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren as well as Mary Jo's children: Steve (Mary) Sunderland, Kevin (Tamie) Sunderland, Tom (Judy) Sunderland, Colleen (Chuck) Hubert, Maureen (Bob) Grubbs, and Teresa (George) Girardi, 19 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife Mary Ann, daughter-in-law Robbin Nelson, and great-granddaughter Emily Nelson.
Walter graduated from St. Bernard’s Grade School and Spalding High School in Peoria, where he participated in football, baseball, and basketball. He captained Nelson’s Nine Nasty Nosepickers to the softball league championship.
He completed his pre-law education at St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, KA and Bradley University in Peoria, where he was a cheerleader senior year. He received his Juris Doctorate from Creighton University in Omaha, NE.