Averill Park - Earl R. Nelson, Jr., 66, died Friday, December 2, 2022, at Albany Medical Center Hospital after a long illness.
He was born September 18, 1956, in Huntsville, AL, the son of the late Earl and Mary (Harrison) Nelson. Earl was the cherished husband of Dana Kennedy Nelson. He was a graduate of Averill Park High School Class of 1974.
Earl served in the US Army, a Combat Engineer who retired as a Master Sergeant from the 10 th Mountain Division in 1997. A veteran with over 22 years of service, he also served with the 82nd Airborne Division. He had multiple overseas deployments to Germany, the first Gulf War and conflicts in Bosnia, Somalia, Panama, and several other areas around the world. Earl was employed by Universal Forest Products in Hudson for 6 years and prior to that worked at Atlantic Plywood in Guilderland for many years.
He loved genealogy, following Alabama Crimson Tide football, enjoyed watching professional soccer, coaching local soccer and was a history buff especially regarding the Civil War and the Templars.
Survivors in addition to his wife include his children, Mary (Christopher) McNeil, Perth, NY, Jessica Nelson, West Sand Lake, Casey (Beth) Rafferty, Lynbrook, NY and Shannon Rafferty, Troy; his grandchildren, Eron, Eva and Eli Hozanivic, Eleanor McNeil and Natalie, Calvin and Audrey Rafferty; as well as several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his granddaughter, Samantha McNeil, three sisters, Sherilyn Pacelli, Marilynn Linscott and Kathryn Ketcham, plus his beloved dog and best friend, Chippy.
Relatives and friends may call at the DeGraaf-Bryce Funeral Home, Inc. 4392 NY150, West Sand Lake, north of the 4 corners on Wednesday, December 7, 2022, from 4-7 PM with a funeral service to follow at 7PM with Rev. Trygve Tomlinson officiating.
Interment will be Thursday at 12 Noon in Gerald B.H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery Schuylerville.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in memory of Earl R. Nelson, Jr. to the Veterans Miracle Center, 10 Interstate Avenue, Albany, NY 12205 (www.vmcalbany.org).
Veterans Miracle Center
10 Interstate Avenue, Albany NY 12205