Richard Nelson Profile Photo
1927 Richard 2021

Richard Nelson

January 26, 1927 — April 22, 2021

Richard Francis Nelson of Kerrville died April 22, 2021. Dick was born January 26, 1927 in El Dorado, Arkansas. His parents, Walter and Floy Nelson, moved to Kilgore, Texas in 1930, and Dick finished High School there. After a year at Kilgore Junior College, he joined the Navy in 1944 and was assigned to its Officers Training Program (V-12) at The University of Kansas. He graduated in 1946 with a BSME and a Navy Commission. At KU, he was a member of Kappa Sigma, Theta Tau, Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Tau, Pi Tau Sigma, and Editor of The Kansas Engineer. He was on both the Engineering and Student Councils and was elected to the honor society for senior men- Sachem. Dick then served briefly on the USS Astoria before assignment as a Physics Instructor at The Naval Academy Preparatory School in Bainbridge, Maryland. He ended active duty in 1947 and was hired by Shell Oil Company for an exciting career lasting forty years, which was then followed by two years with United Gas Pipeline. He has served as a Chairman of The Steering Committee of The Natural Gas Supply Association (producers), and as President of The Spindletop Charities, Houston, and on the Boards of the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America (interstate pipelines), the American Gas Association (distributors), and The Center for the Retarded, Houston. Dick was Program Chairman for the first Offshore Technology Conference, was Shell's representative in the National Ocean Industry Association, and was the first Chairman of the American Petroleum Institute's National Coastal Zone Management Steering Committee. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Kerrville, Riverhill Country Club, Shell Offshore Pioneers, and a Master Mason. He married Phyllis Ann Chancellor of Midland, Texas on June 20, 1949, which he often proclaimed as the luckiest day of his life. She made a house a home in ten towns and cities before they moved to Kerrville in 1989 to make the total eleven. He is survived by Phyllis, a daughter Marjorie Riettini and husband Pierre of Kerrville, son Richard Jr. and wife Kristi Dunks of Bozeman, Montana, sons Burt and Stuart of Houston, seven grandchildren, Michael, Caroline, and Philip Riettini, and Stuart, Grant, Thomas and Jericho Nelson, and two great-grandchildren, Richard and Robert Riettini. He leaves unbounded thanks to his family, friends, doctors and healthcare workers for the very special love and care they gave him during his lifetime. Inurnment will be at the First United Methodist Church Columbarium. Private services will be held at a later date.
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