Obituary: Bruce Nelson, 94, of Ludington.

December 2, 2020

Bruce Nelson

Obituary: Bruce Nelson, 94, of Ludington.

Bruce A. Nelson, 94, of Ludington, died November 29, 2020. He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen; brothers John and Richard; and sisters Vivian and Goldie. He is survived by daughter Kristi and son Bruce (Jennifer). 

Son of Swedish immigrant parents Nels and Tea (Johansson) Nelson, Bruce was born in Kane, Pennsylvania on May 28, 1926. His family later settled in the Rogers Park neighborhood on Chicago’s north side where he and his siblings attended Sullivan High School. World War II found Bruce enlisting for service in the United States Navy. After boot camp at Great Lakes, he received orders to train as an aviation electrician at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (Florida). There he learned the skills that would provide a lifetime of opportunity. After training, he shipped out to San Diego, California and ultimately served on aircraft carrier USS Intrepid in the Pacific theater. The end of hostilities brought an honorable discharge, and Bruce returned to Chicago for employment with contractor Hultgren Electric.

He married Helen Chapman, also of Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood, on June 10, 1950. Opportunity in the form of a career as the fledgling Village of Arlington Heights’ chief electrical inspector resulted in a move from Chicago to the growing suburb in 1956. Bruce served in that capacity until retirement in 1986. His lifetime love for Lake Michigan, dating to his childhood days spent at the beach in Chicago, resulted in relocation to Ludington in 1987, where he and Helen then became members of Emmanuel Lutheran Church.

Bruce’s strong interest in music resulted in a large collection of recordings, most of the classical genre. In retirement, he and Helen spent considerable time attending concerts and supporting community bands and orchestras. The two also volunteered countless hours in support of their favorite organizations. Bruce served many years as a director with the Great Lake Lighthouse Keepers Association, and for a term as its chairman. He was also active in the Big Sable Point Lighthouse Keepers Association where he and Helen organized and led a number of tours. As mobility became more of a challenge, they settled for a coordinating capacity. The Friends of the Ludington Public Library benefitted from Bruce’s efforts where he and his wife orchestrated annual used book sales which raised thousands of dollars that were used to improve the library for generations to come. Finally, the pair spent considerable time volunteering at Historic White Pine Village.

In 2017, Bruce became a resident of Oakview Medical Care facility where he and Helen participated in many events and entertained the staff with their outgoing personalities. He will be remembered as an outgoing friend to all. 

Please share your fond memories and photos of Bruce at 

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution to :

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington. 

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