Born in Detroit MI, raised near the coal mines of Virginia, John moved to Portland as a young teen.
He was a loving son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend. He found love again late in life with Jane Neideigh and they enjoyed traveling, extending hospitality to family and friends and being actively engaged in their church community.
He was known for his love of bluegrass, reading and watching Westerns, being "Grandpa Tootsie Roll", helping out with an extra hand or tool and any opportunity to gather his family together.
He is survived by his wife of 17 years, Jane Nelson; his four children Larry Nelson, Ron Nelson, Steve Nelson and Lani Faith; his brother Jim Nelson; seven grandchildren; and many greatgrandchildren.
Remembrances may be made to the Union Gospel Mission of Portland and Dove Lewis. A private internment service will be held June 1, 2021 at Skyline Memorial Gardens.