(November 10, 1935 – October 12, 2020)
Our father, Graham (Tim) Nelson passed from this world to the next on October 12, 2020.
Predeceased by his wife Jane (nee Baker), and survived by his much loved daughters - Elizabeth, Laura, and Sarah (Wayne).
Fond memories of their Grandpa will be part of the lives of Simon (Ashley) and their children Naomi and Christopher; Benjamin (Shyla); Isaac (Riley); Emily (Russell); Clayton (Lisa); and Adam (Karen).
Dad held close his birth family, extended Baker family, and many friends. Dad had very high standards for both himself and others.
He valued hard work, perseverance, and independence. He loved his family fiercely, both immediate and extended.
As his children, we have countless memories of Dad “being there” for us…including early memories of playing hairdresser and wrestling; making nightly family dinner a priority; being at every concert, show, speech competition and dance performance; celebrating with us in so many ways.
Dad continued being involved with, and supportive of, his grandchildren.
Dad had many interests and hobbies. He loved the outdoors and was an avid gardener. Over the years, he enjoyed singing in many choirs and participating in local theatre. He was a life-long stamp collector.
Dad celebrated education in all forms. As an adult, he graduated from Centennial College in Recreation Leadership. He was involved in activities and classes throughout his life and encouraged others to do the same.
Sports were an important part of Dad’s life from when he was a child, both playing and watching. Dad was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 1999 as part of the Oshawa Connaught Park Softball Team. Dad was a “sports generalist”, enjoying various sports besides softball including basketball, tennis and badminton, volleyball, lawn bowling, golf, and curling. He also followed his favourite Toronto professional teams and the Oshawa Generals.
Dad was extraordinarily proud of the City of Oshawa and served with determination and countless hours as its Director of Community Services from 1974 to 1994.
Through his pioneering vision, many of the beautification projects which still exist in the city were created including the planting of trees along roadsides and floral displays throughout the city.
He started his formal work career at Simcoe Hall Settlement House in 1955, was the Youth Program Director for Ontario Forestry Association, and was the Assistant Director of Recreation for the City of Oshawa.
Over the years, he volunteered diligently within many organizations including: Boys’ Club of Canada; Eastview Boys’ Club; Oshawa Senior Citizens Centre; County Town Singers; Oshawa Lawn Bowling Club; Ontario Recreation Society; Parkview Place; and the Oshawa Sports Hall of Fame. Family, work, leisure activities…all of these were anchored in Dad’s deep and abiding faith.
Growing up in the Salvation Army church, he joined the United Church when he married Mom