Leland H. “Lee” Nelson

1922 - 2013


Leland H. “Lee” Nelson

Nov. 21, 1922 — July 11, 2013

Leland Holmes Nelson, 90, passed away on Thursday, July 11, 2013.

Leland (Lee) was born on Nov. 21, 1922, in Walla Walla, the fourth of five children of Cyrus and Tessie Nelson. He had a happy childhood growing up on the family farm near Valley Grove. He attended Valley Grove and Sharpstein schools. In 1940 he graduated from Walla Walla High School, where he served as student body president and was active in ROTC. He attended Washington State University. During college, he joined Phi Delta Theta fraternity, where he made many lifelong friends. His college education was interrupted by World War II.

Lee attended Officer’s Candidate School and by the end of his service achieved the rank of captain. During the war he was stationed in France and Germany with the 100th and the 3rd Infantry Divisions. He saw front-line action with the 100th, helping to overrun and capture two enemy machine gun nests. Soon thereafter he was wounded by artillery fire. He was decorated with the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge. During the occupation of Germany, he served first in Stuttgart and then later in Northern Germany, where he coordinated the destruction of German fortifications. For this work he received a special commendation from the commanding general of the 3rd Infantry Division. He ended Occupation as second-in-command of a military police company in Bad Wildungen.

After the war, Lee returned to WSU and graduated with a B.A. in business. There he met his future wife, Maryrose Casseday.

In February 1948 Lee and Maryrose married in Spokane. Soon after, the couple settled in Pocatello, Idaho, where Lee started his career with Burroughs Corporation. The couple had three children. The family moved several times during the early years, first to Phoenix, when Lee was recalled into the Army during the Korean War. Lee returned to Burroughs after discharge and was transferred first to Detroit and later to the San Francisco Bay area. Here Lee met several of his cherished lifelong friends.

Desiring to return to the Northwest, Lee and Maryrose moved their family to Boise in 1962. Lee retired in1981 after 34 years of service with Burroughs Corporation. He then worked six years for the Boise Independent School District as the supervisor of the payroll and personnel management systems.

Lee and Maryrose had a happy and adventure-filled retirement. They built a summer cabin in Cascade, were they entertained many friends and family members. The couple enjoyed fishing, river rafting and traveling in Idaho. They also traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe. Lee particularly enjoyed fishing, playing bridge, spectator sports and do–it-yourself home projects. He was a past member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church, where he served as warden, and of the Boise Noon Optimist Club, where he served as a commissioner of the Optimist Youth Football Program.

Lee was preceded in death by his wife, Maryrose; his parents, Tessie and Cyrus M. Nelson; his brother, Cyrus R. Nelson; and sisters, Illyne Brown, Lois Nalder and Virginia Sutherland; his niece, Karen Brown Messenger; and nephew, Tom Nelson. Lee is survived by his daughter, Mardell Nelson (Larry Tippets) of Boise; son, Gordon Nelson (and Kai) of Honolulu, Hawaii; son, Ross Nelson (and Theresa Fritz) of Boise; granddaughter, Julia Nelson of San Francisco; grandson, Paul Nelson of Honolulu, Hawaii; grandson, Sam Nelson; and granddaughter, Clare Rose Nelson of Boise; and nieces, Nancy Klicker and Ronnie Lou Tucker of Walla Walla, Gina Pinkepank of Geneva, Ill.; and nephew, Randy Sutherland of Naperville, Ill.

A funeral service will be held 11 a.m. on Saturday, July 27, 2013, at Cloverdale Funeral Home, 1200 N. Cloverdale Road in Boise, with a lunch reception to follow the service at the Cloverdale Reception Center.

Interment will be held at Cloverdale Memorial Park.

A celebration of life luncheon will be held at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2013, at the Walla Walla Country Club in Walla Walla.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project at www.woundedwarriorproject.org, or Fort Walla Walla Museum.

To share memories with the family please visit Lee’s memorial webpage at www.cloverdalefuneralhome.com.


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