James Nelson
James Nelson

Obituary of James M. Nelson

James Maher Nelson, beloved husband, and best friend to Rita Mae (Hack) Nelson passed away peacefully on Friday, September 8th, 2023, to be alongside his cherished wife. Born July 9th, 1928, in Putnam, CT, Jim was the son to the late Harold and Mary (Maher) Nelson of Pomfret. He attended grammar school in Pomfret, then attended Putnam High School, graduating in 1946. Jim played football, basketball, and baseball, and received a total of 8 varsity letters and athlete of the year.


After high school, Jim entered Ellis Technical School receiving his airframe and powerplant license. While attending aircraft school, he joined the Connecticut Air National Guard at Bradley Field in Windsor Locks where he was called to duty in Korea and served 2 out of his 6 years of active duty. Following his return to the States, Jim worked at Pratt and Whitney for 1 year and then went on to work for Kaman Aircraft, American Airlines and then finally retired from Bombardier after 47 years of service in the aircraft industry.


Jim spent several years coaching Ellington Senior League, where he went on to win 2 district league championships. In addition to his family, Jim had a beloved passion for airplanes and being on the water on his Albemarle fishing boat named after his well-known nickname, “No Neck.” While fishing, he loved catching lobsters on the Long Island Sound, as well as spending many years at Spicer’s Marina in Noank.


In 1958, Jimmy married the love of his life, Rita (Reet) and they were married for 60 years before her passing in 2018. Jim and Reet are survived by their 2 sons, Gregory Nelson of Higganum and James Jr. and his wife Teressa Nelson of Coventry. He also leaves behind his beloved and cherished granddaughter, Shannon Nelson of Higganum, along with his favorite 4-legged friend, Maggie McGoo.


In addition to his parents, Jim was predeceased by his brothers John and Bill Nelson. He is survived by his brother Paul and his wife Joy Nelson of Pomfret, his sister Anne Navarro of Pomfret, and many nieces and nephews. Jimmy will be dearly missed by his loved ones and all those who had the pleasure of knowing him. He will be remembered as a dedicated veteran, hardworking man and most importantly, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend.


Relatives and friends may join the family at Tierney Funeral Home, 219 West Center St., Manchester, CT on Thursday, September 14th, between 4-7pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday, September 15th, at 11am at St Bernard Church, 25 St. Bernard’s Terrace, Rockville, CT. Burial will follow at Ellington Center Cemetery, Ellington, CT. For online condolences, please visit www.tierneyfuneralhome.com.


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Calling Hours

4:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Thursday, September 14, 2023
John F. Tierney Funeral Home
219 West Center Street
Manchester, Connecticut, United States

Mass of Christian Burial

11:00 am
Friday, September 15, 2023
St. Bernard Church
25 Saint Bernards Terrace
Vernon Rockville, Connecticut, United States

Committal Prayers

Ellington Center Cemetery
95 Maple Street
Ellington, Connecticut, United States
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