Gene A. Nelson


Mr. Gene A. Nelson, 82 of rural Wataga, died at 4:05 a.m.  Wednesday, March 15, 2023, at Seminary Manor in Galesburg.

He was born Monday, January 6, 1941, the son of Robert V. and Florence M. (Epperson) Nelson.  He married Nancy A. Carlson on April 9, 1961, in Galesburg.  She preceded him in death February 11, 1995.  He later married Bette L. Packingham on February 1, 1997, in Galesburg.

He is survived by his wife, Bette; three children, Lori A. (Tom) Weaver of Blaine, Minnesota, Diann L. (Michael) Finley of Glenview, Illinois, David A. (Christine) Nelson of Rio; stepchildren, Brian Packingham and Heidi (Brian) Fuhr; eight grandchildren, Kathryn and Jacob Weaver, Elizabeth and Tyler Finley, and Alayna, Natalie, Grace, and Luke Nelson; several step grandchildren; and a sister, Margaret (John) Thulin of Galesburg.  In addition to his first wife, he was preceded in death by his parents.

Gene was a fourth generation, lifelong farmer.  He was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Galesburg.  Gene was involved with the Henderson Volunteer Fire Department, where he was a trustee and had served as Chief for several years.  He had also been a trustee for Henderson Township.  Gene graduated from Abingdon High School in 1959.  He served in the United States Army Reserves.

Gene loved spending time with his grandkids! He was proud of them and attended many games, recitals and events, always cheering them on! He was especially happy to give his grandkids rides in the combine, tractor and gator at the farm.  Gene looked forward to visiting the coffee shop every Saturday morning with his son David and some local farmers. It was a time for friendships, socializing and catching up! He treasured Saturday mornings.

Visitation will be 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 19, 2023, at Hinchliff-Pearson-West Funeral Directors and Cremation Services of Galesburg.  Funeral will be 10:30 a.m. Monday, March 20, 2023, at the chapel with Rev. Dr. Carrie Carnes officiating.  Burial will be in Henderson Cemetery.  Memorial contributions may be made to Henderson Volunteer Fire Department or Trinity Lutheran Church.  Online condolences may be made to the family at

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