He was born on May 21, 1927 in Cody, to Arthur Nelson and Esther Anderson Nelson, joining his brothers Arthur E. Nelson Jr. and Raymond Joseph Nelson. He was later joined by a little sister, Gladys Irene Nelson Lundholm.
He was born in a one-room home on a homestead in Diamond Basin. He lived all his life on the South Fork, except the last five years after his stroke.
Walter worked side by side his siblings as there was plenty of hard work for everyone. It was a time when neighbors got together for noon meals at the spur of the moment.
Walter’s life on the ranch included raising sheep, chickens, geese, turkeys and cattle, helping with threshing, hay stacking, irrigating, gardening and more.
At the young age of 17, he followed his older brother Arthur into the Army and was stationed in France in 1944.
After the war, Walter continued to ranch on the family homestead. Walter and his brother Raymond made improvements and ranched together for many years. He truly loved his white-faced Hereford cattle and spent years improving the herd.
His work interests were varied and included mechanic, welder and fixing what was required to get the work done.
When not working on the ranch, he was a rock collector, archeologist and enjoyed investing his money. One project that showed his dedication was selling fresh eggs from chickens that were raised. He helped his mom with this project and then continued it throughout his life.
Walter never married, but thoroughly enjoyed visiting with family throughout the years. Many times through the years, the family would gather at Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park.
He was preceded in death by his parents and siblings.
He is survived by nephews, Carl Lundholm, Jr., Duane Lundholm, Larry Lundholm (all in Hamer, Idaho), Scott Nelson in California and a niece, Ardis Nelson in Oregon.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. on Tuesday June 6, at the United Methodist Church in Cody, of which Walter was a lifetime member.