Eric (Walt) Walter Nelson
April 24 1918 - September 07 2017 - Age 99

Surrounded by family and friends, Walt Nelson passed away peacefully Thursday evening after a visit from Pastor Peck.

Walt was an iron ore miner and dairy farmer in Wisconsin before leaving to serve in the Navy Seabees from 1943 to 1946. During this time, the love of his life, Velma, contracted tuberculosis (TB) and left Wisconsin to be treated in Colorado. Walt returned from WWII to Colorado and six weeks later, he married Velma in her pajamas in bed in 1946. She spent two more years on bedrest recovering from TB before they finally started their married lives together.

They raised three children and sponsored numerous Hmong and Laotian refugees. Walt and Velma’s mission in life was helping people, and they provided lodging to numerous people in need. Walt was a founding member of Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church, and remained an active member for the rest of his life. He was a pillar of strength (more accurately, a load-bearing wall) for his family and community.

Walt worked in Colorado as a builder in various capacities, including 27 years pouring concrete structures at Coors Brewing Company. His carpentry skills can be seen all over town, including construction on his church. When he retired, he took up cooking, much to the chagrin of his wife, and he loved to experiment with food from his garden; his efforts were always creative as he strove to never repeat a recipe. Walt is especially known for his Swedish pancakes, birthday cakes, a multitude of pies, and continuing Velma’s practice of feeding anyone who visited. He was an avid gardener, giving away hundreds of tomato plants to anyone who stopped by. He grew up enjoying the outdoors, fishing and hunting through the age of 85. At 93 he got his first electronic device, an iPad, saying "I'm 93 and I got a lot to learn." He quickly was hooked on Words with Friends.

Walt is preceded in death by his beloved wife Velma, siblings Elsie, Linda, Byron, and Melvin, and grandson Tyler. He is survived by his siblings Betty and Nancy, children Cyndi, Byron, and Brent, grandchildren Ben, Peter, Jeffrey, Katarina, Eric, and Stina, and great grandchild William.

Walt was rightfully respected and admired by all who knew him. He will be greatly missed, remembered forever, and cherished in our hearts. Even though you read this about many people, Walt’s family is certain that he was absolutely the MOST loving and generous husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather in the world. Really!

Viewing at Crown Hill Mortuary on Tuesday, Sept. 12 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. Funeral service at 11:00 AM on Wednesday, Sept. 13 at Wheat Ridge Evangelical Lutheran Church followed by lunch at the church and then the committal at Crown Hill Cemetery at 1:00 PM.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to:

WRELC, Matthew 25 Fund

8600 W 38th Ave

Wheat Ridge, CO 80033

About the Matthew 25 Fund: When Walt’s grandson, Matthew Tyler Thorburn (Tyler), was a child, he made homemade dog biscuits and sold them to raise money for the poor. He didn’t know how to get the money to the poor, so he asked his grandpa for help. Walt and Pastor Rolf started the Matthew 25 Fund, which WRELC uses to aid members of the congregation and the community in need. In Matthew 25:31-46, Jesus discusses how God will separate the sheep (those who aided the poor and unfortunate) from the goats (those who didn’t) and teaches people to be compassionate. The offerings from Wednesday evening Lenten soup suppers go to the Matthew 25 Fund, as well as occasional targeted donations.

Lakewood, CO (current)
Iron Belt, WI (birthplace)
Military Branches


Served From 1943 to 1946


There are not yet any condolences for this obituary.

Be the first