Richard A. Nelson

Date of Birth

September 6, 1922

Date of Death

November 7, 2021

City of Death

Santa Barbara, CA

Richard Austin Nelson, a kind, gentle soul, known for his infectious laughter and compassionate heart passed away peacefully at Serenity House at 99 years of age after a long bout with heart failure.

Born to Roy & Ruth Nelson and raised in the Swedish community of Chicago, IL, he joined the U.S. Army at the age of 18 and served in WWII in Germany. After the war he attended college on the GI Bill, becoming a practicing podiatrist in Chicago for 28 years.

Always a seeker, he went on pilgrimage to India in 1979 and met his kindred spirit, Terry, where they were married by their spiritual teacher, Sri Sathya Sai Baba at his ashram near Bangalore. The following years were magical, full of unforgettable adventures of extended travels in India, Sri Lanka, and Portugal.

Settling in Santa Barbara, a city he deeply loved, he enjoyed living on the Mesa where he took daily walks at Shoreline Park and the harbor.
Richard was Dad to Kris Bihler and Craig Nelson, Gramps to Erin Johnson and Britney Huff, and great-grandchildren Wyatt, Willow, Travis, & Camden, and Uncle to Ric Wood and Erika Isaly.

The family especially thank niece Erika, friends Mary, Max, and Mike, the VNA Hospice Team, Alex, Lynda, and Karen for their help and caring support.

In honor of Richard donations may be made to The Braille Institute and VNA Hospice.


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