Gustav Eugene (Gene) Nelson (Nilsson), 90, of 1110 Lake View Ave. passed away at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26, 2014, in the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center.
He was born Sept. 28, 1923 in Timra Forsaml Vasternorrl, Sweden, a son of the late Gustav and Olga Marie Wilhelmina Nyblad Nilsson.
He and his family lived in Jamestown, N,Y, during the 1920s, then moved back to Sweden where he served twice in the Swedish Air Force during World War II, stationed on an island just below the Arctic Circle.
In 1946, he played on the National Rugby Team, the "Panthers." He was named Sweden's top rugby player, and his brother, Volgert was second.
He returned to the USA in 1947 as an electromechanic.
Gene married Hazel Fern Lowell, daughter of Clyde and Beulah Blodgett Lowell of Lamberton, N.Y. on July 3, 1948, in the Fredonia Methodist Church. They were married for almost 61 years when she passed away on May 21, 2009.
Before his retirement he was employed by Jamestown Metal Products. In previous years he had worked for Blackstone Corporation, Remington Rand, owned and operated Nelson's Office Machines on Second Street from 1966-77, and was a supervisor for Yorktown Industries.
As an avid sportsman, Gene coached minor and Little League baseball and the Northside midget football team. He and his wife Hazel brought back the struggling Jamestown Soccer Club (Vikings, Beavers and Jamestown Soccer Club) in the 1950s.
In the early 1960s, Gene was a player-coach of the two semi-pro soccer teams that joined together. In the late 1970s, Gene and his son Eugen started the youth soccer program, with all the youth in the area in one organization, prior to the JAYS program. Gene was a golf champion at Willow Run in 1973, and club champion at Point Chautauqua in 1979. He had been a member of the South Hills Country Club from 1980 to 2002.
He ran for city council to represent the north side but was defeated. Gene was appointed Assistant Parks and Recreation Director and was also appointed to the Chautauqua County Board of Health.
Surviving are his two sons, Eugen V. Nelson of The Villages, Fla., Douglas C. (Julie) Nelson of Jamestown and two grandchildren; Ashley (Danny) Whitmore of Lily Dale, N.Y., and Aaron Nelson of Jamestown.
Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, the former Hazel Fern Lowell Nelson, who died May 21, 2009; his brother, Volgert Nelson.
As per his wishes, funeral services will be private and visitation will not be observed.
You may light a candle in remembrance of "Gene" at www.lindfuneralhome.com.