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Dorwin Nelson

Dorwin Ralph Nelson

March 12th, 1937 - June 18th, 2024

Dorwin's Obituary

Dorwin Ralph Nelson, 87, of Stevensville, formerly South Bend, passed away on Tuesday, June 18, 2024, at Royalton Manor, St. Joseph.

A celebration of life gathering will take place from 2-4 pm on Saturday, June 22, 2024, at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Inurnment will take place at a later date in Hickory Bluff Cemetery, Stevensville. Memorial contributions in Dorwin’s name, may be made to Caring Circle Hospice. Those wishing to send a condolence online may do so at www.starks-menchinger.com.

Dorwin was born on March 12, 1937, to Ralph and Eva (Stauffacher) Nelson in South Bend. He graduated from Riley High School in the class of 1955. Dorwin continued his education through Wabash College, and then earned his Master’s Degree from Indiana University.

Professionally, Dorwin dedicated many years to education. Dorwin taught at Central High School in the 60s and 70s, where he taught English and was the golf coach which won the city championship in 1967. He was also the sponsor of the Student Booster Club at Central. Dorwin also taught at Brown Middle school in South Bend before going to LaSalle High School as their Librarian. Dorwin also supported education outside of his professional duties, housing several Notre Dame students over the years. Following retirement, Dorwin moved to Stevensville, MI, where he worked in the family business of Nelson Floral Company in Eau Claire, and then Nelson Specialties Company in Saint Joseph. Dorwin was a member at St. Joseph Catholic Church and initiated a local book club in the community. Dorwin volunteered at Krasl Art Center, and also at the Maud Preston Palenske Library.

Known for his generosity and kind nature, he cherished socializing with others. For many years, he owned a cottage on Donnell Lake in Vandalia, where he frequently hosted summer gatherings. Affectionately known as “Uncle Dorwin”, he deeply loved his family and played an active role in the lives of his nieces, nephews, and great-nieces and nephews. Offering wise advice and sharing ‘Dode-isms”, he profoundly impacted them in a positive way.

Dorwin is survived by his brother, Keith (Kathy Zilke) Nelson; niece, Lisa (JR) Eyerly; nephews, Michael (Tina) Nelson and Shawn (Amy) Nelson; great-nieces & nephews, Aaron (Amber) Wade, Brittney Eyerly, Jared Nelson, Tyler Nelson, Ava Nelson, Grant Nelson and great-great-nephews, Andrew and Austin Wade. He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Eva Nelson.

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