Bill (John William) Nelson

1936 - 2016

Bill (John William) Nelson died Jan. 8 doing what he loved, snorkeling on Maui. Born 12/20/1936 in Devil’s Lake, ND, Bill found his true calling as a pilot, first in the U.S. Air Force, then with Continental Airlines from 1966 to 2001 and lastly flying small business jets for corporate clients. His final career as Bill Nelson Home Repair let him use his considerable fix-it skills.

Bill lived in Denver with first wife Betty Hurtt-Nelson where children Greg and Jennifer were born and raised. In 1988 Bill moved to Santa Barbara where he married Judy Ricker and had children Benjamin and Nora-Abeni. Bill adored his children and was a wonderful father.

Bill is survived by wife Judy, daughters Jennifer (Rod) and Nora-Abeni (Will), sons Greg (Cindy) and Ben, grandson Anthony, great grandkids Anthony and Makenna and former wife Betty, plus many cousins, nieces, nephews and dear friends.

A memorial and celebration of Bill’s great life will be held Sunday, February 21st at Encina Royale. Details to follow. Instead of flowers, please donate to Bill’s favorite local non-profits, the Food Bank of Santa Barbara County and Direct Relief International.

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