Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Obituary Archives

June 16, 2013

Dr. James Andrew “Jim” Nelson

BLUEFIELD — Dr. James Andrew “Jim” Nelson, 93, of Bluefield, WV, died Wednesday June 12, 2013 at Bluefield Regional Medical Center.

Born January 25, 1920, he was the son of Dr. J.E. and Margaret Newbill Nelson. He graduated from Bluefield “Beaver” High School in the Spring of 1938, then entered Bluefield College.  Once he completed course work at Bluefield College, Jim applied and was accepted at the University of Louisville, his father's alma mater. He graduated first in his class with a D.M.D. in his field. While he was there, America became involved in World War II. His school became a part of the armed services. He chose to remain actively involved in the Medical Corps of the Army for four years and was stationed at Pennsylvania, California, and Texas. After active duty, he went into the Army Reserves and remained with the Reserve for forty-one years. At the time of his retirement from the United States Army Reserve in 1984, he ranked Lieutenant Colonel.       

Jim returned to Bluefield after the war in 1946 and reopened his father's office in the Coal & Coke Building. He married Katharine Ross Nelson in 1948 and continued active participation in his church, Westminster Presbyterian Church.  

Additionally, in the community, he earned his Mason's degree and became a Shriner and a Shrine Patrol Leader. He was on staff and Bluefield Sanitarium and Bluefield Regional Medical Center until the mid 1980s. He served as a board member of the Bluefield Union Mission, and the Bluefield Baseball Board.  

Jim was known for supporting local sports at Bluefield High School, especially football. In 1955, he began filming the Bluefield Beaver games for his close friend, A.T. Howard (Bluefield's football coach at the time.). Jim filmed every football game, both home and away, for the next fifteen years. He watched many young athletes achieve otherwise unavailable college opportunities because of football scholarships, many that came as a result of these films.  

From 1971 to 1992, he provided the statistics so often referred to by his son, Jim Nelson, Jr. on the radio. His time was also given to help with the Boy Scouts, who were then led by Charles R. Smith in the mid 1960s. During the same time frame, he donated time and free dental care through the Mercer County Health Center.  

Jim served on the Mercer County Board of Heath, and actively supported the Mercer County Humane Society and the Mercer County Spay Association.  

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Katharine Ross Nelson; and one sister, Margaret Nelson Bailey.   

Survivors include one daughter, Katharine Lyle Nelson of Bluefield; one son, James A. Nelson, Jr. and wife Carol of Bluefield; three grandchildren, USMC SSgt. James Andrew Nelson, III and wife Heather of Kailua, HI, Adam Nelson and wife Amber of Radford, VA and Jacqueline Kelly Nelson and fiancé Ben Sarles of Bluefield; two great-grandchildren, Ethan and Samantha Nelson of Kailua, HI; and several nieces and nephews.  

The family will receive friends on Monday June 17, 2013 from 1:00-2:00 p.m..  Funeral services will follow from the Mercer Funeral Home Chapel in Bluefield at 2:00 p.m. with Mr. Craig Hammond officiating. A private burial will take place at Monte Vista Park Cemetery. Military graveside rites will be rendered by the West Virginia Honor Guard and the Mercer County Veteran's Council.

“Doc” will be deeply and profoundly missed by all who knew and loved him. We will “see him in the morning.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions, if desired, may be made to the Mercer County Spay Association, PO Box 1992, Princeton, WV 24740.

Those wishing to share memories or condolence messages with the family may do so by visiting

Mercer Funeral Home & Crematory is serving the family of Dr. James Andrew “Jim” Nelson.

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