John R. Nelson John "Jack" Robert Nelson of Tacoma, Washington, passed away on January 7th, 2019.
Jack graduated from Puyallup High School in 1959, where he met his high school sweetheart and love of his life Patricia M. Harader.
On November 11th, 1960 Jack and Pat married and began what would become a lifelong journey, spanning over 58 years filled with love and happiness. Weekend ski trips, riding jet skis at the Gorge, garage sales and what seemed to be an endless list of honey do’s.
Family was everything to Jack. At the center were his three sons, boy did they keep him busy! Jack was often the neighborhood chauffer providing rides not only to his boys but any neighborhood kids in need.
Jack looked at his friends as extended family. If you ever needed a hand, Jack was ready and willing to help.
Hunting and fishing were just a few of Jack’s passions that he shared with his father, so it seemed only natural to do the same with his sons.
He, along with his father Milton and his son J.R., were proud members of The United Association of Plumbers Local 26. In 1965 Jack represented the state of Washington, in the National Apprenticeship contest at Purdue University, finishing in the top five. He also won the Copper Institute award for the best copper project. When he became a journeyman, he followed in Sy Horsman’s footsteps and taught apprenticeship training for several years.
Jack’s reputation for mastering the most complex projects, gave him the opportunity to manage large jobs from L.A. to Boston. Jack embraced the challenges presented to him, furthering his career and earning the much-deserved respect from his peers.
My favorite “Jack” story was, while he was working for Anthony Construction at Boeing
When they need to install a new air handling unit on the roof of a building, they decided to use a helicopter for the task. Jack did the rigging, thanks to his apprentice training the
task was executed flawlessly. The dignitaries watching the event, were elated and commented that they were fortunate to have someone skilled in such a risky procedure.
He said later, that he couldn’t tell them that this was his first time.
He was predeceased in death by his parents, sister Judy Elvins and son John Robert Jr. He is survived by his wife Patricia, sons Mike and Steve (Fiona), 7 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Pioneer Park Pavilion, 330 S. Meridian Puyallup, WA 98371, from 1pm-4pm on Sunday February 24th. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Dementia Society of America at www.dementia.org (1-800-336-3684)