August 24, 2019

Death of Paul Nelson Announced

Paul Howard Nelson, 1933-2019

Paul Howard Nelson, Navy flight navigator, salesman, business leader, photographer, author, and lecturer passed away on May 24th at the age of 86 in Old Lyme, CT. He was surrounded by his children and his companion.

He began his career in 1953 by enlisting in the Navy where he served on the aircraft carrier the USS Coral Sea during the Korean War. In 1957, he graduated from St. John’s University with a BA in Liberal Arts. For over four decades he worked his way up in textile sales.  At J.P. Stevens, he started as a sales associate and rose to become the head of institutional sales. He later ran The Bibb Company, before becoming a textile broker, working with global textile giants such as Frette. He was a true salesman who became a great manager. He authored several textbooks on management for his industry. Throughout his life, he maintained a love for aviation and photography.  He combined the two by shooting cover photos for aviation magazines.

After retirement, he turned his focus to a longtime hobby, Ragtime and Jazz music. He lectured extensively on the historical and cultural significance of this music.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Mr. Nelson grew up in Far Rockaway, Queens, attending St. Francis De Sales primary school and then St. John’s Preparatory School.

Mr. Nelson believed in family first, specifically children first. He was predeceased by his loving wife of 48 years, Maureen T. Nelson (Gilbride).  He is survived by four children Gina Wilcox (Brady) of Old Lyme, CT; Laura Nelson (Jim Kremens) of Westport, CT; Paul F. Nelson (Julie) of Wilmette, IL; and Andrew Nelson (Meghan) of Cincinnati, OH as well as his brother Peter Nelson of Far Rockaway, Queens.  A self-described “Indoor Grandpa,” he is also survived by eight adoring grandchildren; Charles Kremens, Sarah Nelson, Mary Nelson, Annabelle Kremens, Daphne Nelson, Ava Gray Wilcox, Tess Nelson, and John Nelson. Finally, he was honored to be the loving companion to Irene Stella.

A wake will be held at Christ the King Church in Old Lyme, CT on Friday, May 31 between 5 – 7 pm. A mass of Christian burial will be held the following day on Saturday, June 1st at 2 pm in the same location.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to The Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, CT or the Yale Cancer Center/Smilow Cancer Hospital “Closer to Free” fund in New Haven, CT.

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