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Nelson 'Red' Bliss

October 13, 2012

Nelson 'Red' Bliss, 96

Troy - Nelson 'Red' Owen Bliss, Jr., 96, a longtime resident of Troy died on the morning of October 13, 2012, after a brief illness.

Born in Springfield, MA, on July 24, 1916, Red was the son of Nelson 0. Bliss, Sr. and Mildred Converse Bliss. He graduated from Springfield Technical High School and came to Troy to attend RPI, graduating in 1938 with a B.S. in Metallurgical Engineering. He did graduate work at the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State and RPI.

As an RPI student, Red was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity, Phalanx, "R" club and the soccer team. He was a founding member of the Hockey Club at RPI, playing outdoors on Beldon Pond long before the current field house existed. Later he helped start peewee hockey in Troy and remained a lifelong hockey fan.

While at RPI, Red met his future wife, his beloved Elisabeth "Betty" Bliss, then a student at Russell Sage. He and Betty celebrated their 71st anniversary this past May. Deferred from military service because of his position at Bethlehem Steel in Johnstown, PA, he and his family moved back to Troy after World War II.

Red worked first at General Electric Aeronautics and subsequently at Knolls Atomic Power Lab (KAPL), until his retirement in 1978. Throughout his life, he continued to be a loyal GE retiree and also a proud RPI alumnus. As a member of RPI's first hockey team, "Red" as he was known enjoyed attending "Freak Out" alumni hockey games. By far the oldest RPI hockey player still attending Freak Out weekends, Red enjoyed being called onto the ice during intermission, where the fans gave him a standing ovation last January.

Red was a member of the American Welding Society and served as chairman of its Northern New York Section. He was an avid left-handed golfer, playing into his mid nineties, and a long time member of the Troy Country Club, serving on its Board of Governors for many years. He was a member of the Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church where he taught Sunday School and served on the Board of Deacons and Trustees. He was a Cub and Boy Scout leader.

Red is survived by his family: his wife Elisabeth "Betty" Boltwood Bliss; a son William Nelson Bliss and former daughter-in-law Linda Doolittle Bliss; a daughter Dr. Carol Elisabeth Bliss and her husband Dr. Gerry Stahl; three grandchildren and their families, BJ (Liz) and Sage Bliss, Kelly (Ryan) and Claire Connolly and Heather (Chris) and Ela Young. Red is also survived by two sisters Eleanor Ferguson of Huntersville, NC, Barbara (Roland) Kollar of Venice, FL, and a brother Dr. Charles Bliss of Rangeley, ME. He is also survived by two step-grandsons and their families, Zake (Kimlou) and their daughter Nastasja Stahl and Rusty Stahl.

Relatives and friends may call at the Gardner Earl Chapel 186 Oakwood Avenue Troy on Thursday from 1-2 PM with a service to follow at 2PM.

Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery Troy.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in memory of Nelson 'Red' Bliss to the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Gifts Processing Center PO Box 3164 Boston, MA 02241, include in the memo line for Nelson Red Bliss/ Hockey Team.

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