Billy Ray Nelson

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 3, 2012

June 24, 1929 – Sept. 29, 2012

MARRERO, La. — Services for Billy Ray Nelson, 83, who died Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at Mothe Funeral Home in Marrero, La.

Burial will follow at Westlawn Cemetery in Gretna, La., where he will be re-united with his wife and our mother, under the direction of Mothe’s Funeral Home.

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Visitation will be from 6 to 10 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. until service time Thursday, both at the funeral home.

Mr. Nelson drifted peacefully to eternal life surrounded by his mother, brothers, sisters, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, sons-in-law, daughter-in-law and a number of other loving family members.

He was born June 24, 1929, in Doddridge, Ark., the son of James Mathis Nelson and Bessie Belle Erwin Nelson. He enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in 1946. Billy, otherwise known as Pappy, worked at Avondale Shipyards for 29 years, ending his career as a rigging superintendent.

Mr. Nelson was diagnosed with Mesothilioma in April 2011. He made the most of his 17 months being sure to spend as much time as he could with his family.

He was preceded in death by his wife of 50 years and the mother of his children, Gertrude Camille Sanchez Nelson; his father; and infant daughter, Jody Marie Nelson.

Survivors include five children, Cary Coldwell Sr. and wife, Sylvia, Kim Nelson Boudreaux and husband, Danny, Robin Nelson, Star Nelson Breaux and husband, Kurt, and Billie Rae Nelson Jones and husband, Chuck; his mother of Calvin, La.; one brother, Ronald James Nelson and wife, Barbara, of Carriere; three sisters, Helen Nelson White of Calvin, Dorothy Nelson Fouche Hamm of Atlanta, Texas, Catherine Nelson Jongbloed and husband, Bill, of Lake Charles, La.; 12 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and a number of other loved friends and relatives.

His children were guided through the last days of his life by Heart of Hospice. Thanks to Ms. Melissa and Ms. Christy. His children would also like to acknowledge their cousin, Samantha Shewmake for her guidance and compassion shown to their dad through her role as a registered nurse. Dr. Steven J. Granier, daddy’s primary care physician, WHAT A MAN. You were patient and kind to our father all along knowing that all you really could do for him was listen. You made quite an impression on Billy Nelson.

Also the family thanks Mrs. Pamela VanWyck Snodgras, a/k/a Nappy, a dear and loving family friend for allowing us to focus on our father while she met the needs of family and friends who came to our home to pay respect to our beloved father, Billy Nelson. Many thanks, also, to all who delivered nourishment for both our physical and our emotional needs.

Now for a few of his words of wisdom, “you may give out, but don’t give up.” Billy Ray Nelson, son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend. May he rest in peace. Amen.