Nov. 22, 1932 - Dec. 10, 2012
He was born on November 22, 1932, at home in Indianola, Nebraska, as the 3rd child of Ruth (Liston) and Marvin Nelms. In his early years, Don attended various country schools, and was very active including playing the cornet in the McCook High School Band. He graduated from McCook in 1950. Don was active in FFA, achieving his State Degree in 1950, and very active in 4-H for eleven years including time as a 4-H leader all the while working at Whitten's Hatchery.
He was in the Army attached to the Air Force in England from 1952 to 1955 and soon after married Shirley Hatcher April 10. They had four children; Sharon, Susan, Dann and Shauna. Don farmed north, west and east of Indianola and north, south, east and west of McCook. He raised Hereford cattle and Cross-breeds until 1980 and registered Simmentals from 1980 to 1991.
He was a member of the United Memorial Methodist Church of McCook for 60 years and was a Trustee for three years. He was on the Red Willow and Republican Valley School Boards for twelve years. Don belonged to Wheat Growers, Farm Bureau, 4-H Council, Soil Conservation Board, ASC Committee and Elks Club. He farmed for himself until 1991. He worked at the Red Willow Co-op for one year and managed farms for Kim Swearingen for eight years, farms for Perry Case for five years, and helped Barrett Eiler for eight years until July of 2012. His many skills and interests included tree planter, builder, carpenter, pre-fabricator, fence builder, horticulture and mechanic, and his love of horses and dogs. He remodeled all three houses the family lived in.
He loved his family, church, and community. Don's integrity and quick wit and sense of humor endeared him to many.
He was preceded in death by his parents Marvin and Ruth Nelms; in-laws, Paul and May Hatcher, along with sister, Eleanor (Carter); brother Max Nelms; and grandson, Craig Nelms.
Survivors include his wife, Shirley Nelms of McCook; daughter, Sharon (Rex) Mills, Adams, Nebraska, daughter, Susan Brent, Akron, Colorado (Nelson Brent, Akron), son, Dann (Sue Ann) Nelms, Benkelman, Nebraska and daughter, Shauna (Glenn) Hilker, Cambridge; grandchildren, Jeremy Klein of Kearney, Nebraska, Kelsey Klein of Omaha, Nebraska, (Fiancé, Eddie Percy), Abbie Brent- Akron Lexin (Kassi) Brent of Akron, Braden (Beth) Brent, Akron, Alton Brent, Akron, Emilie Brent, Akron, Brent (Melissa) Nelms, Eagle, Nebraska, Kelli (Justin) Jensen, McCook, Nebraska, Julie Nelms, Benkelman, Laura Nelms, Benkelman, Mark Nelms, Benkelman, Levi Hilker, Kearney, Nebraska, Pake Hilker, Cambridge, Shasta, Hilker, Cambridge (Fiancé, Ethan DeKay). He also has eight great-grandchildren; Dravin, Aviahanna, Korbin, Harley, Kason, Alaina, Afton, Jace. Included in survivors are brother, Roger (Rose) McCook, brother-in-law, Oren Carter, McCook, sister-in-law, Dona Nelms, Indianola, Nebraska, sister-in-law, Helen Hotze, Aurora, Colorado, sister-in-law, Beverly Bernatchy, Powell, Wyoming. Don will also be missed by numerous nieces and nephews and friends.
Memorials may be given in his name to Memorial United Methodist Church or McCook Hospice.
Visitation will be Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, from 1-8 p.m. at Carpenter Breland Funeral Home with family present from 5-7 to great friends. Words of condolences may be sent to the family at www.carpenterbreland.com
Funeral services will be Saturday, Dec.15, 2012, 10:30 a.m. at Memorial United Methodist Church in McCook with Rev. Lance Clay officiating. Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Carpenter Breland Funeral Home of McCook is in charge of the arrangements