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J. Joe Nelson

October 7, 2022

J. Joe Nelson was born in Canton, Oklahoma, on December 21, 1931, to Robert Lee and Fannie Mae Williams Nelson, the fourth of six children. When he was four, the family moved to Bowman, Idaho. At the age of 12, the family moved to Curley Creek outside of Bonners Ferry. He passed away on September 29, 2022,, at his home in Libby. A celebration of life will be held at a future date.

He joined the Air Force in 1949. After basic and advanced training, he sailed five days on a troop ship to Alaska. He was stationed at Elmendorf Air Base in Anchorage for 24 months, where he was an aircraft engine repairman. While there he was blown off the wing of an airplane they were working on and injured both knees. He spent 59 days in a hospital in Montgomery before being medically discharged as a sergeant. He was very honored and proud to have gone on the Honor Flight in 2018.

On September 4, 1954, he married Clara Lethrud in Sandpoint.

When asked what his occupation was, he generally answered "yes.". He could repair almost any kind of engine, car, generator, starter and chainsaw. He had to quit school after the eighth grade to run a lumber mill with his dad. He was a scaler, crane operator, log truck driver, Community Restorium manager, apartment manager and home handyman.

He also built and remodeled numerous homes for the family over the years.

His favorite pastime was fishing. He could catch almost any fish he ever tried to catch.

He served on the Boundary County School Board for several terms. He was a Grade 2 Paramedic EMT on the Boundary County ambulance. He was very involved with the Masonic Lodge, serving seven times as the Worshipful Master in three different lodges, Idaho District Deputy Grand Master and Idaho Grand Tyler. He loved being a Shriner. He was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason and York Rite Mason Knight Commander.

He was a member of Eastern Star and served six times as Worthy Patron. He was also the Associate Bethel Guardian for Jobs Daughters.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Clara; his parents, Robert and Fannie; and all five of his siblings, Lee Mae, John Travis, LuVene, Maxine and Erwin.

He is survived by his daughter Linda (Lee) Lampton, Libby, sons Richard, New York, New York, and Leonard (Cheryl) of Portland, Oregon, grandchildren Jeremy and Lucas (Terri), Libby, and Jacob, Elizabeth and Spencer of Portland, Oregon, great-grandchildren Jonothan and Hailee, Libby, and step-grandchildren Eric, Troy, and Ivy (Mike), Bothell, Washington.

Arrangements are under the care of Schnackenberg Funeral Home of Libby. Online condolences and memories may be shared by visiting www.schnackenbergfh.com.

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Mike Weland, Publisher

6931 Main St.
P.O. Box 1625
Bonners Ferry, ID 83805
(208) 295-1016

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