Stephen Jefferson Nelson CW04 USN Ret, 56, passed away quietly Sunday, Jan 9 2011 at Logan Regional Hospital in Logan , UT. He was a man of honor, a Naval Officer who always remained dedicated to his country, his community, and his family.
Born a twin on August 10, 1954 in Mena Arkansas he was the son of Stephen and Josephine Reed. Upon his mothers passing in 1961 Steve and his twin sister were adopted by Dick and Gladys Nelson of Bancroft , ID. He graduated from Bancroft high school in 1972 and just days later reported for duty with the United States Navy in San Diego, CA.
Steve was a veteran of both the Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars, having served 28 years of active duty. He was a leader and promotions came quickly. In 1985 Steve earned the Pacific Fleet Sailor of the year beating out 113,000 other sailors. Steve also trained and led 12 highly specialized men on 79 hostile boardingâ€™s in support of United Nations sanctions against Iraq . Steve earned ten separate decorations for service above and beyond. He was proud to say he had met Presidents and Medal of Honor winners. He brought the watch words of the U.S. Navy, Honor, Courage and commitment into reality and defined them time and again for those who loved him.
Steve married Cynthia Ann Loeffler December 20, 1977. His wife was not only his partner but his competition. It was said on many occasions that his toughest competition in many situations was his wife. Steve and Ann had one son, Stephen Andrew Nelson. Upon learning that Ann was terminally ill Steve retired from the Navy in order to care for her full time. Ann passed away in 2001.
Shortly after the passing of his wife, Steve moved to Washington DC to work as a contractor for the Department of Defense. Never one to miss out on the action, Steve narrowly missed being caught in the Pentagon on 9/11.
Steve moved to Pocatello , ID in 2005 to be near his mother who still lives in the family home in Bancroft ID. Steve was introduced to Rebecca Low of Smithfield , UT the following summer. Rebecca and her three children all fell in love with Steve. Stephen and Rebecca were recently married.
The courage Steve showed throughout his life, specifically through the last fourteen months was Heroic, in its purest form. Steve was, is, and shall always be one of our Heroâ€™s. Well done, my love.
Steve is survived by his wife, Rebecca Hyde Park, UT and his son Stephen A Nelson (Sylvia) Horseshoe Bay, TX. He is also survived by his mother, Gladys Nelson Bancroft ID and his twin sister Beth (Jurgen) Hixon Nashport OH as well as his step-children Brianne, Emily, and Ashton Shirley Hyde Park, UT and a very special granddaughter Ashlyn Nelson Horseshoe Bay , TX .
A memorial service will be held Monday, Jan 17 2011 at one pm. Friends may call an hour prior to the service at Nelson Funeral Home 162 E 400 North Logan, UT. Stephenâ€™s final resting place will be in Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in San Diego , CA .
The family wishes to express a special thank you to Dr. Ali Ben-Jacob and his staff as well as Dr. Karl Brown and the nursing staff on the medical floor at Logan Regional. During our extended stay you became more than caregivers, you became friends. That will not soon be forgotten.
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at Nelson Funeral Home.