Myron A. Nelson (1929 - 2023)
God needed a bingo caller, so on October 8, 2023, he called Myron Nelson. Now, when he’s not calling bingo, he sits at the heavenly kitchen table with his parents, Nels and Hazel, and brothers Connie and Larry, where they will tell Uncle Ole’ jokes for eternity.
Born September 24, 1929, Myron’s early childhood was shaped by the Great Depression. Growing up in Itasca Wisconsin, his father worked on the railroad and his mother raised the three boys. After high school he attended college at Superior State Teachers College. During this time he met his future bride, Mary, who worked as a Nanny for his Uncle Ed and Aunt Dagney, taking care of their daughter Nancy. After college Myron was drafted into the army. Due to good luck, he scored well on the German test with the result that he was stationed in Germany, rather than Korea, during the Korean War. His time in Germany was transformational and he spoke of it often. Years later he took Mary to the Rhine River to show her where he was stationed.
When he returned from Germany, he married his beloved Mary on August 21, 1954, and they would share 69 years together. In 1955 they welcomed David, and in 1956, they would welcome Pamela. In 1954 Myron began working for the Rosemead School District, first as a fourth grade teacher, then as a Principal, and finally as the Assistant Superintendent. He retired in 1985, after working in education for 30 years.
Because he was a teacher, Myron had most of the summer off which allowed him to travel extensively with his family. Together they went to Glacier, Jasper, Banff, Mount Rushmore, Washington, D.C., Gettysburg, and many other historic sites throughout the country. One of those trips brought them to Spirit Lake below Mt. St. Helens, and that became a favorite destination for Myron and Mary.
So much so that after retirement, they moved to the small town of Castle Rock near Mt. St. Helens. There, Myron began a new life of volunteering for his community. Over the years he taught 55 Alive for over 20 years, was President of the Castle Rock Senior Center for 14 years, and was an evaluator for Castle Rock Senior Projects. While at the Castle Rock Senior Center, he began the Bridging the Generations program where Castle Rock High School Students help to serve lunch to the seniors every Wednesday while school is in session. Many of the students maintained contact with Myron after they graduated from high school.
Based on his years of giving to his community, Myron received the Governor’s award for volunteerism from Governor Christine Gregoire in 2011. He and Mary were the first recipients of the Castle Rock “Rock” Award. He also received the Andrus award from AARP in 2021. And recently he and Mary received the Community Heroes award from the Area Agency on Aging. Myron was an inspiration to everyone who knew him.
Myron lived a full life to the end. On his 94th birthday, two weeks before he passed away, he played a game of cribbage with David. On the Wednesday before he passed away he sent out his last Weekly Report where, with openness and courage, he informed everyone that he was in Hospice care. On the Thursday before he passed away he watched half of the Chicago Bears/Washington Commanders football game. And, he leaves a partially completed to-do list.
Always a teacher, during his life Myron taught us how to live, and, in the end, he taught us how to die.
Myron leaves a loving family, good friends, and a grateful community. Myron is survived by his wife Mary, son David (wife Becky), daughter Pamela, four grandchildren - Jonathan, Andrew (wife Whitney), Garrett and Atlas - and his great grandson Arthur. There will be a small family remembrance at a later date. The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in Myron’s name to the Castle Rock Senior Center at P.O. Box 652, Castle Rock, Washington. 98611.