The Norman Transcript

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September 18, 2013

Russell ‘Gene’ Nelson

NORMAN — Russell “Gene” Nelson, 90, passed away Saturday, Sept. 14, 2013. Gene was born May 25, 1923, in Paris, Ark., to parents James and Edith (Rainey) Nelson. Gene proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Gene worked on the family farm in Paris, Ark. until he began working with his dad, at the age of 15, in the coal mines in Logan County, Ark. Gene and Wanda moved to Oklahoma City in 1945 and raised their children there. In 1982, they retired and moved to Seminole where Gene kept working until his stroke in 1994. He finished the race in Norman, 17 years later.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 49 years, Wanda Alene (Grissom); great-grandchild, Zachary Asa Asher Estep; and siblings, William Horace Nelson, James Rufus Nelson, Hancel Edward Nelson and Helen Rose (Nelson) Lombard.

Survivors include sons, Jerry Gene Nelson and wife Cherie, and Allen Wayne Nelson and wife Brenda; daughters, Marsha Ann Sharry and husband Darrell, and Patty Kaye (McCarroll) Shields and husband Veryl; siblings, Imogene Hillian, Ina Jean Pettit, John Houston Nelson, and Bobby Dean Nelson; grandchildren, Marci (Nelson) Burkhart and husband Steve, Mendi (Nelson) Dawley and husband David, Cami (Sharry) Wardwell and husband Colby, Fawn Sharry, Autumn (Sharry) Babcock and husband Bryan, Emily (McCarroll) Baer and husband Jeff, Seth McCarroll, Cole Nelson and wife Kaylee, and Collin Nelson; 17 great grandchildren; and two great-great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from noon to 8 p.m. today. Services will be 10 a.m. Thursday at Havenbrook Funeral Home chapel, 3401 Havenbrook St., in Norman. Interment will follow service at Arlington Memorial Cemetery in Midwest City.

Arrangements for Gene and his family were placed in the care of the Vice family at the Havenbrook Funeral Home of Norman. Online condolences may be shared at

Norman Transcript, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013

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