Earl E. Nelson was born to Peodker and Hazel Nelson in Pike County, Indiana on October 22, 1932. He graduated from Jefferson High School in Lafayette, Indiana in 1950, before attending Purdue University for one year, and Indiana University, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education. After graduation Earl served in the U.S. Army for 2 years from 1953–55, in the Medical Corps in Germany. Shortly after receiving an honorable discharge from the Army, Earl started teaching at Linwood Elementary School in the Lafayette School Corporation. On July 14, 1956 Earl married Janet Terrell in Lafayette. They remained happily married for 66 years. In 1962, Earl moved from the classroom into school administration with the Lafayette School Corporation, where he remained for the rest of his career, retiring as Associate Superintendent in 1993 after 38 years of service. After retirement Earl and Janet travelled extensively, travelling to Europe multiple times and to the Holy Land twice. Earl and Janet moved to Harrisburg, North Carolina in 2008.
Along with his parents Earl is preceded in death by his older brothers Robert and Ray Nelson. He is survived by his son Brian Nelson, his wife Susan, and children Benjamin and Katherine; and his daughter Nancy Sunderman, her husband Chris, and children Kyle, Kayleigh, and Conner. He is also survived by his younger brother Roald.
Earl was a life-long member of the Church of Christ, becoming a member of Providence Baptist Church in early 2019. Earl was very interested and involved in missions work, first becoming involved in work with missionaries in Germany while in the Army. After retirement Earl and Janet spent three months doing missions work in Nairobi, Kenya using the Bible to teach English as a second language. He also served in church leadership as an Elder for many years at the Elmwood Avenue Church of Christ in Lafayette, where they were members for more than fifty years. Earl and Janet had the gift of hospitality, opening up their home for many years to foreign students for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and to LIFE groups.
A visitation will be held on June 17, 2023 from 1:30 PM – 2:00 PM, with the memorial service directly following at 2:00 PM at Pitts Baptis Church located at 140 Pitts School Road NW, Concord, NC 28027 . The interment is TBD. Memorial donations can be made in tribute to and in memory of Earl to the Charlotte Rescue Mission at https://charlotterescuemission.org/donate/.