Paul Lee Nelson, age 72, passed away at his home in Bend, Oregon surrounded by his family on Wednesday, November 7. He was born on June 22, 1946, in Little Falls, Minnesota, to Edward Lloyd and Lorraine Annetta Nelson.

He started school in a one-room schoolhouse in Cushing, Minnesota and went on to graduate from North Salem High School, in Salem in 1964. Paul served in the United States Navy from 1964 through 1968. He married Judith (Judy) Ann Klauss, of Salem, on November 5, 1966, in Salem. Together, they had a son, Dennis Lee Nelson; and a daughter, Shelley LeeAnn Nelson. Paul and Judy enjoyed traveling together as well as spending time with family and friends. Annually, they would go to Cherry Hill (New Jersey), Yuma (Arizona), and Cabo San Lucas (Mexico).

Paul is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Judy; their son, Dennis; daughter, Shelley; and grandson, Tyler Aaron Nelson; along with his brothers Edward (Larry), David, Alfred (Al); and sisters, Kaye and Beverly. Paul was preceded in death by his parents Edward and Lorraine; stepfather, Vern Bennett; two brothers, Kenneth and John; and daughter-in-law, Kristi Nelson.

Paul spent most of his professional life working in the manufactured home industry, specifically in transportation as either a truck driver or managing trucking services, additionally he left that industry for a few years to own an auto parts store in Lebanon, Oregon.

He was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks for 40 years, American Legion for 23 years, and was a founding member of the Rolling Oldies Car Club of Lebanon. His hobbies included hunting, fishing, vintage cars, and spending time with his family and friends. He was known for his zest for life and road trips in the family motorhome with his wife, Judy.

Annually, he would spend summers with his only grandchild, Tyler, either in Oregon or New Jersey, who was his best friend. Burial services will be held Friday, November 16, at the Tumalo Pioneer Cemetery at 1 p.m.

A celebration of life will be held next summer in the Willamette Valley for all friends and family. Information will be communicated later about this event. In lieu of flowers being sent, donations can be sent to Partners in Care of Bend, Oregon, The Kidney Foundation, or the American Cancer Society.