H. Wayne Nelson

September 30, 1937 ~ December 30, 2021 (age 84)


H. Wayne Nelson passed away December 30th, 2021 surrounded by his loving family in Peoria, Az after a three year battle with cancer. Wayne was born 9-30-37 in Hillsboro, OR to late parents, John Edward and Ila Nelson and grew up in Forest Grove OR. Wayne grew up on a dairy farm where he and his brother Ron and sister Betty learned the value of hard work and responsibility. As a young boy he worked at many odd jobs and favorite memory he would share with his grandchildren is that at age 9 he and his friend had their own business collecting earthworms at night and selling them to the fisherman. He graduated High School in 1955 and received a football scholarship but was unable to accept due to family obligations.  Wayne and his mother, Ila Nelson, moved to Eureka shortly after graduation. He joined the Marines in 1957 and served two years at Camp Pendleton, CA. While on leave, he met his future wife Midge (Montgomery) and they were married on 8/8/1959. 


Wayne was hired as a deputy Humbolt County Marshal and one year later was appointed to Marshal. At that time he was the youngest Marshal in California history. Wayne served as Marshal for 32 years and retired in 1992. Shortly after, they moved to Arizona to be with family.


Wayne was married to the love of his life, Midge, for 62 years and raised two boys that were his pride and joy. Wayne’s happiest moments were camping, boating and sporting events with his family.  Wayne was an active community supporter. He was a member of the Elks Club, law enforcement associations and coached youth football for many years. 


He is survived by his loving wife Midge (Montgomery) Nelson, son Dan and his wife Holley, son Kevin and his wife Pam, grandchildren Brian and his wife Arianna, Kevin (KJ), Brianna, Carmella and Wil, great grandson Carson, his sister in law Mildred Forthman and numerous nieces and nephews.


Wayne served his community and was proud of his work as a Marshal but his greatest accomplishment was as a husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.


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