Morris LaVerne Nelson, age 90, a resident of Fort Scott, Kan., died unexpectedly Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, at his home.
He was born Nov. 26, 1920, in Mapleton, Kan., the son of Andrew Nelson and Marie Jepperson Nelson.
Morris graduated from the Fulton High School in 1938, and then graduated from Fort Scott Junior College.
He later attended Emporia State Teachers College.
Morris married Julia Eloise Pettibon on Aug. 18, 1942, at Milton, Fla.
Morris served with the United States Navy during World War II. While in the service he served as a Navy carrier pilot and helped to research early aircraft warning systems.
Following World War II, he served as a test pilot with the Navy Reserve. He later served with the Kansas Army National Guard.
For many years, he owned and operated the Nelson Brothers Store with his two brothers, Vic and Harry. They started with the Nelson Brothers Oil Company service station in Bell Town and later moved to what is now old Highway 69 in the 1950's. The store was then added later.
He was a member of the Olson Frary Burkhart Post No. 1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars and often helped with the honor guard detail. Other memberships included the Masonic Lodge, the Scottish Rite Consistory and the Mirza Shrine.
He enjoyed old cars, motorcycles and airplanes and was recently featured on the nationally syndicated television show American Pickers.
Survivors include his daughter, Kathryn Hunter and husband, John, Springfield, Mo.; four grandchildren, Susan Arnold, Debbie Hunter, Julie Moore and Steven Hunter; a great-grandson, Evan Arnold and a great-granddaughter Riley Moore who will be born in March.
Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews including Don Fetterly, Lamar, Mo.; and Reitha Clark, Lenexa, Kan.
He was preceded in death by a son, Paul Chris Nelson in 1992, his wife, Eloise in 2001; three brothers, Victor, Walt and Harry Nelson and a sister, Mary Taylor.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011, at the Cheney Witt Chapel.
Burial will follow in the Evergreen Cemetery where full military honors will be provided by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post No. 1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars.
The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday, at the Cheney Witt Chapel.
Memorials are suggested to the Paul Christian Nelson Memorial Scholarship Fund at Fort Scott Community College and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, Kan., 66701.
Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at www.cheneywitt.com.