Winston Robert Nelson, or Bub, as he would rather be called, passed away January 30, 2020, at Pioneer Manor Nursing Home in Hay Springs, Neb., at the age of 100 years, 1 month and 4 days.
Bub was born the day after Christmas, 1919, to Elsie and Nels Nelson of rural Gordon. Bub was the fourth of seven children; Elwood, Helen, Olga, Bub, Frances, Dorothy, and Archie. Both Elsie and Nels were European immigrants who met while working in Deadwood, S.D.
Bub’s father passed away from silicosis in 1929 when Bub was 10. Bub learned to work hard at a young age. The Nelsons farmed with a six-horse team and Bub spent many hours getting to know and working with these horses.
Bub attended Fieldside School through the eighth grade, and then took some correspondence courses. He worked with his brother, Elwood, and for area farmers until March 13, 1943, when he was drafted into the Army during WWII. Following basic training at Camp Cook in California, Bub was assigned to the Third Infantry and sent to Northern Africa. From there they boarded an English ship, “a dirty old boat”, for Anzio, Italy. During combat he was severely injured twice, and was later awarded two Purple Hearts. He also received the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for bravery during combat. He often said that he missed seeing Rome by a day; this was due to any injury during combat. Bub reached the rank of Staff Sargent while he was in the military and was honorably discharged in 1945. He sailed home on the Queen Elizabeth.
Upon returning to Nebraska, Bub rented farm ground north of Gordon and worked for various neighbors for a time. On September 18, 1949, Bub married the local schoolteacher, Anna May Eddy. In 1955 they were able to purchase a farm near Denby, S.D., where they made their home and raised their family. Bub raised wheat, cattle and hogs, and over the years had the opportunity to add to his farm. His sons, Doug and Gary and their families continue with the operation today. Bub, in his 100 years, was able to see farming change from a horse and a one bottom plow to tractors using GPS and combines with 30-foot headers. In 1993, Bub was awarded the Outstanding Farmer Award at Town and Country Days.
Anna May passed away in 1991, and Bub continued to work on the farm until health issues caused him to move to Pioneer Manor in 2014, where he made many new friends.
Bub loved his farm, riding his four-wheeler, caking cows, raking hay, and going to bull sales. His work and visiting with neighbors and family were his hobbies. His work ethic, integrity, and outstanding memory are things he will be remembered for. He was proud to have served his country and in later years enjoyed telling his “war stories”.
He will be missed by his children Doug and Phylis Nelson, Roger and Carol Vincent, Jeannie Burress, Gary and Betty Nelson; nine grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; two sisters-in-law, Margaret Nelson and Mildred Colwell; and many other relatives and friends.
Bub was preceded in death by his wife, Anna May; granddaughter Renee Burress; and granddaughter-in-law Kyla Vincent, his parents, all of his brothers and sisters, and several brothers-and sisters-in-law, as well as some family in Europe.
Funeral Services will be held Thursday February 6, at 2:00 p.m., at the Gordon American Legion with Bill Combs officiating. Burial with Military Honors will be in the Gordon Cemetery. Memorials have been established for the Gordon American Legion or the Sheridan County Ag Society and donations may be sent in care of Chamberlain-Pier Funeral Home, PO Box 366 Gordon, NE 69343.