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Sunday, November 08, 2009

Grandpa Nelson

Nelson (23)

Carl got back from  his Grandpa Nelson's funeral last night and had some great stories to share with me.  I'm going to have him write some of those here on the blog so we'll have them documented.  The photos are from our last trip to see Grandpa Nelson in July 2009.

Nelson (38) Grandpa could always be found with something in his hand - a tennis racket, fishing pole, gardening tool, or conductor's baton.  He was expert at all these hobbies (tennis, fishing, gardening, and music), and he achieved this by a combination of talent, love, and perseverance.  I never once came close to beating him at tennis - I have the love and a little talent but that's about it.  He also knew how to make other people happy, by telling stories/jokes or by providing loving service.  He was always giving away his beautiful flowers, and he was always out in the garden early in the morning gathering fresh berries so that he and Grandma could fix us all delicious hot breakfasts when we were visiting their home. 


Nelson (19) Grandpa was very focused on achieving his career goals, but still gave quality time to his family.  He grew up without much material wealth, the oldest in a family of 9 kids, but learned that by his industry he could be successful.  Despite financial obstacles, he was able to create an opportunity for himself to enter college, and while there, not only worked at various jobs but participated in theater and music on campus and in traveling shows.  He became interested in library science and later earned a master's degree in this field as well as an MBA.  He had decided that he wanted to become director of libraries at BYU, and although he was turned down for this job and others, he eventually found success by the old adage, "try, try again."  After being director of libraries at Eastern Oregon College and then earning his PhD at UC Berkeley, he gained a position at BYU and eventually achieved his ultimate career goal in the 1960s.  He remained in the director's position for the rest of his career, where he made many significant contributions to the university libraries.

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