E. Dean Nelson

E. Dean Nelson, 86, of Higginsville, died Sunday, Aug. 4, 2013 at Meyer Care Center in Higginsville.

Dean was born on Feb. 14, 1927 in Vilas, Kan. to Levi F. “Lee” and Eva Ellen (McLaren) Nelson. He first married Mary J. Lemons of California July 31, 1948; she preceded him in death April 6, 2001. He later married Mary C. Grove Nofftz of Stet, Jan. 5, 2002; she survives of the home.

Dean was a WWII United States Navy Veteran. He was a Directional Drilling Engineer for several oil service companies and worked in England and Scotland for Santa Fe International and Louisiana Oil Rentals. In his later career he owned and operated Nelson Directional Drilling in California working with Shell and Union Oil Companies. Dean was a member of the New Hope United Methodist Church. He was a member of American Legion Posts in California, Texas and Missouri and had been a B.P.O. E. Elks Lodge member in California. Dean had lived in California and Texas before moving to Higginsville in 2007.

Other survivors are one son and daughter-in-law, Barry D. and Caroline Nelson of Boca Raton, Fla.; one daughter and son-in-law, Janet L. and John Claydon of Lehigh Acres, Fla.; three grandchildren, Diana Weatherill of England, Shelley James and husband Philip, of Scotland and Angel C. Campos of Monterey, Calif.; three great-granddaughters, one great-great-grandson and a nephew, Paul Spitzer of Charlotte, N.C.. Additional survivors are two step-daughters and their spouses, Alice and Bob Childers of Blue Eye, and Susan and David Mason of Norborne. Four step-granddaughters and five step-grandsons also survive and other extended family.

In addition to his parents and first wife, Dean was preceded in death by one daughter, Angelique Hayes; one brother, Keith Nelson who died in infancy; and one sister, Martha Spitzer.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the American Legion Legacy Scholarship Fund.

Memorial services will be held Saturday, Aug. 10 at 11 a.m. at the New Hope United Methodist Church, north of Hardin. Inurnment will be in the New Hope Cemetery  where military honors will be provided by the Ray County Veterans.

Online condolences may be at

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