News of Riverton, Lander and Fremont County, Wyoming, from the Ranger's award winning journalists.
Jan 9, 2014 - Staff
Wayne Nelson, formerly of Lander, died Sunday, Jan. 5, 2014, at his home in Cheyenne. He was 84 years old.
Visitation will be 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 11, with services following at Crandall Funeral Home, 800 Uinta St., Evanston.
Wayne Nelson was born Jan. 26, 1929, in Coalville, Utah, the son of Henry and Emma Morton Nelson. When he was young the family moved to Evanston to attend school. He graduated from Evanston High School in 1947. His family said he excelled in sports and music and was named the Best All Around Boy of his senior class.
He then joined the Army at the beginning of the Korean War. He served primarily in Kentucky, achieving the rank of master sargent.
In November 1950, he married Sarah Jane Taggart. They made their home in Lander and had three children. She died in November 1962.
In October 1976, he married Diane Pevic. They continued to make their home in Lander, and they had three children. In 2007, they relocated to Cheyenne.
He attended the University of Wyoming and earned a degree in pharmacy in May 1956, becoming the first member of his family to earn a college degree. He worked in Evanston, Cody and Lander before opening his own pharmacy in Lander, retiring in 2003. He was named Wyoming's Pharmacist of the Year in 1976.
He served on the Lander City Council and was a member of the Atlantic City Federal Credit Union Board and the Lander Airport Board. He also was on the Lander Rodeo Committee and coached Lander youth baseball.
He was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He held many positions within the church, including serving in the bishopric and stake presidency and was a high councilman.
His family said he enjoyed flying and obtained a pilot's license shortly after high school. Other interests included helping local ranchers, caring for and working with his own horses, and supporting his children in numerous activities.
He is survived by his wife, Diane; children Cindy (Jim) Hill, Mike (Kelli Jo) Nelson, Lori Nelson, Chris (Danielle) Nelson, Julie Nelson and Wendy Nelson; grandchildren Jody Graham, Bridget Hill, Kim Hill, Stacy Hood, Brenda Smith, Jonathan Nelson, Melinda Nelson, Brittany Debry, Erik Nelson, Michael Nelson and Brooke Nelson; 15 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Sarah Jane, and his brother, Gene.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lander Community Center rebuilding fund.
Online condolences may be left at crandallfhevanston.com.