Dwight Emmanuel Nelson, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, and educator was born into a family of medical missionaries on November 28, 1940, in Kuilung Kiang, Yunnan Province, China. Dwight’s father, Dr. Dwight Chester Nelson, was lost in a drowning accident on July 5, 1941, a tragedy which necessitated his mother, Dorothy Miller Nelson, to repatriate her young family back to the United States. The Nelsons settled in Goshen, Indiana where Dwight was a 1959 graduate of Goshen High School. He continued his education receiving his BS from Hanover College and his masters from Ball State University. Dwight was united in marriage to Patricia May Griffin on August 31, 1963, and this union was blessed with daughters, Lori and Kathi. The couple resided in New Castle, Indiana with Dwight teaching math at New Castle High School until 1968 when he accepted a position in the Math Department with Madison Consolidated Schools in Madison, Indiana. Tragedy again struck the Nelson family on June 20, 1973, when Patricia died from injuries sustained in a car accident. Several years afterward, Dwight was introduced to Anna Cooper and on September 12, 1975, they were married at Trinity United Methodist Church in downtown Madison and this union welcomed a daughter, Elizabeth. Dwight retired from teaching in 1994 and began a career with the City of Madison working in the parks department until 2014. He was a faithful member of the Trinity United Methodist Church in downtown Madison where he sang in the choir and was a member of “Men of Praise”. Dwight was an avid sports fan performing duties as an IHSAA official in basketball and football for over 35 years as well selling tickets to various Madison Cubs sporting events; cheering on his beloved New York Yankees, Indiana University Basketball and of course, the Madison Cubs. Dwight’s family was the light of his life and was evidenced by the encouragement he gave his children and grandchildren to motivate themselves in the classroom and in their student athletic careers; for all the meaningful family getaways during which he would watch for the best gas prices on the trip to the destination and for counting the birds on the beach. He also engaged in a robust civic life that benefited both the educational institutions in which he was affiliated as well as the community he loved. Dwight served as a chapter advisor for Phi Delta Theta at Hanover College for thirty years where he had many happy memories and was a devoted member of the Kiwanis Club of Madison where he was always a reliable hand at grilling chicken at the annual barbeque fundraiser and working in the booth at the 4-H Fair. He was honored by the American Red Cross for a remarkable lifetime donation of 23 gallons of blood and was always a familiar face at the King’s Daughters’ Hospital help/information desk where he volunteered many hours of service. He also held memberships in the Madison Camp of the Gideons, the Madison Elks Club No. 524, the old Madison Country Club and was a longtime precinct committeeman for the Jefferson County Republican Party. Dwight passed away, secure in his faith, on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at 6:52 p.m. at the Norton King’s Daughters’ Heath in Madison, Indiana with his loving family at his side.

Dwight will be missed by his wife of nearly 48 years, Anna Cooper Nelson of Madison, IN; his daughters, Lori Nelson George of Columbus, OH; Kathi Nelson Sawyer and her husband Scott of Cuyahoga Falls, OH; Elizabeth Nelson Lane and her husband Bill of North Vernon, IN; his grandchildren, Allyson, Heather, Jack, Megan, Leslie, Luke, Morgan, and Cooper; his great granddaughter, Maya; his sister, Carolyn M. McFarland of Utah; his brother in law, Gene Cooper and his wife, Linda of Orlando, FL; several nieces, nephews and other relatives.

He was preceded in death by his father, Dr. Dwight Chester Nelson, died July 5, 1941, his mother, Dorothy Fern Miller Nelson McFarland, died October 22, 2010, his brother in law, Richard McFarland, died September 26, 2010, his step father, Robert McFarland, died July 23, 1971, his brother, Edward Hjalmar “Swede” Nelson, died September 28, 2021, his sister in law, Judy Hill Nelson died July 4, 2014, his brother in law, Richard A. McFarland, died September 26, 2010, his father in law and mother in law, Eugene Louis Cooper, died June 4, 1989 and Pauline Marjorie “Polly” Saltzgabber-Botteron Cooper, died January 7, 2007.

Memorial services will be conducted Thursday, May 25, 2023, at 1 p.m., by Rev. Dr. Doug Walker at the Trinity United Methodist Church, 412 West Main Street in downtown Madison. Interment will follow later in the Springdale Cemetery, 600 West Fifth Street in downtown Madison. Friends may visit Thursday from 11 a.m. — 1 p.m. at the Trinity United Methodist Church.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Trinity United Methodist Church or Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (for childhood cancer research). Cards are available at the Morgan & Nay Funeral Centres of Madison and Hanover and the church. Online condolences, remembrances and memorials can be left at www.morgan-nay.com