Born Feb. 1, 1936, in Thermopolis, he was the one of nine children born to Franklin H. and Delta E. (Jones) Nelson. After graduating from Thermopolis High School, Don was the first member of his family to attend college, which included Northwest College, Chadron State, and Southern Illinois University, receiving his master’s degree in 1970. He served in the Wyoming National Guard for eight years.
Don leaves a legacy of coaching. He taught at Hamilton Dome, Thermopolis, Torrington, Green River, Lompoc, Calif., Powell and retired from Green River.
A math teacher, he specialized in coaching basketball, but coached several other sports.
He won two Wyoming state basketball championships and two Wyoming state cross country championships. His awards included Wyoming Coaches Hall of Fame, Town of Thermopolis Hall of Fame and City of Green River Hall of Fame. A natural sports fan, he loved spending time with his family.
On Dec. 22, 1998, he married Kathleen Noble in Nevada.
Survivors include his wife Kathee and son Michael A. Nelson, both of Thermopolis; daughters, Katherine Miles of Oregon and Karen Cantrell of Elko, Nev.; brothers, Mel of Douglas, Rich and Rod of Casper, Otis of Billings, Mont., and Arlie of Shepherd, Mont.; sister Midge Hart of Riverton; seven grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and nieces and nephews.
Don was preceded in death by his parents; brothers Earl and Doug; and his first wife, Trenna Peart Nelson.
Private family services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Dec. 6, and a public memorial service will be held at 1 p.m., both at the VFW in Thermopolis. A luncheon will follow the service. Michael Douglas Nelson of California will be the master of ceremonies.
Mortimore Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. Online condolences may be made at www.mortfh.com.
Memorials may be made to the Northwest College Foundation, with memo to read M. Douglas Nelson Scholarship Fund, 231 W. Sixth St., Powell, WY, 82435.