Born Gary Richard Nelson in Worland, Wyoming on June 27, 1934, passed peacefully from this life on July 17, 2021 in Wellington, Nevada, surrounded by his wife and friends. He was
preceded in death by his parents, Richard and Rose Nelson, sister MaryAnn Herzog, and numerous cherished friends and relatives.
He is survived by his wife Donna Nelson; brother Gerald Nelson; children Britt (Karolyn) Nelson, Brandi (Erez) Levy, and Chad (Lisa) Nelson; grandchildren Shane, Shanna, Lance, and Neve; great grandchildren Jaxon, Weston, Jace, and Jordyn; and beloved friends and relatives. Gary’s love of hunting, fishing, and all things horses and ranch life began in Wyoming and Montana and the great outdoors. He graduated from Manderson High School in Manderson, Wyoming, and continued his education at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana on a basketball scholarship. Recognizing Gary’s superb athletic abilities, the college football coach asked him to try out for the football team. Gary joined the team and in his senior year they won the Montana State football championship. Gary graduated college with a Bachelor of Science degree in Natural Science in 1956.
After college Gary went to work in the Liquid Petroleum Gas business. He worked 33-years for Petrolane and 12-years as a Safety Inspector for the State of Nevada Board for Regulation
of Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Gary’s career took him as far east as Westfield, Massachusetts, as far north as Anchorage, Alaska, and as far south as Glendale, Arizona. While District Manager then Regional Manager for Petrolane he managed all aspects of personnel, equipment, sales, service and installations within each district, and knew every phase of the propane business. He was great at public relations and tactfully handled politicians,
company executives, office personnel, and service employees with ease.
As everyone knows, Gary only took fashion tips from cowboys. He wore a perfectly pressed shirt, bootcut blue jeans, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat, either a black or grey Stetson,
or, in summer, a Panama straw. He looked like the Marlboro Man, only better looking. He didn’t smoke but he was known to tip a beer or two if you twisted his arm. When he walked into any room, it got brighter. You could feel his presence, it was palpable. He was tall with ramrod straight posture, had a magnetic smile, bright blue eyes and an infectious laugh that punctuated the best stories you’ve ever heard. He was made of special stuff. Men wanted to be like him, women wanted to be around him.
Gary knew that life did not come with an owner’s manual, and if it did, he wouldn’t need to read it anyway. He instinctively knew what to say or do, and what not to say or do. We all benefited from this very wise and generous man. Gary never had a harsh word for anyone. He respected everyone, everyone respected him. He listened attentively to everyone,
everyone hung on his every word. He loved everyone, everyone loved him. He refused
to participate in petty politics, meaningless gossip or negative personal grievance. He was an unapologetic optimist and knew his glass of life was completely full. He was always the consummate gentleman, and knew in life you usually get as good as you give. Gary was the ultimate “Charismatic Cowboy” who taught us everything we needed to know to get along with others and be happy. The only thing he didn’t teach us was how to live without
him. Gary touched every heart that passed his way. He will never be forgotten. We’re all going to miss him.
In lieu of sending flowers, please consider honoring Gary by giving your understanding, kindness and love to some poor soul who needs a boost. That’s what Gary would do.
Please join Gary’s family and friends for a Celebration of Life on August 25, 2021, at the Walker River Resort, 700 Hudson Way, Smith, Nevada, from 11:00AM to 3:00PM. There will be an open mic available from noon to 12:30 pm for those who wish to speak. There will be a no host bar with a potluck lunch; please bring something to share. The phone number at the Walker River Resort is: 775-465-2573