James Leonard Nelson, a resident of McCloud, died peacefully May 22, 2009 at the age of 55, surrounded by family.
Born January 13, 1953 in Wenatchee, Washington, he was known to many as Jimmy, a caring mountain man, a man of few words who worked and played in nature, spoke softly and deliberately and was methodical in his preparation.
He grew up in Sacramento, but soon headed for the highlands, arriving in Siskiyou County with Norma in 1979.
He was a father to his seven children and a father to many others. He taught by demonstration more than by words and many learned about patience from him.
Jimmy was a sawyer, a tree faller, a tree climber, a tree planter, a builder, a wood worker in many forms. Doing his work the right way was more important to him than doing it the fast way.
He preferred living where the roads haven’t been paved, where the loudest background noise is the sound of the wind in the trees.
He enjoyed camping, hiking, fishing and many other outdoors activities.
He went down fighting a grizzly bear, but it allowed him time to see, talk with and enjoy family and old friends for many days in a pre-death celebration of life.
Jimmy is remembered for being a true person, a humble man, a man of integrity, someone who was willing to go out of his way to help others.
He touched many people with his generosity of heart and spirit, his love and compassion for co-workers, family and friends.
He walked many paths and suffered without bending or breaking his beliefs or identity.
Many may think he was taken too soon, too young, but he would not want those he cared about to mourn.
He wrestled with the grizzly in his dreams and it got the better of him. He has now come to the clearing at the end of his path. He is free to move as the wind through the trees and across lakes, rivers and oceans of this wonderful world, as he always wanted.
Jimmy Nelson is survived by his children, James, Amber, Rachel, Sonja, Cathryn, Abe and Emily; his sisters, Judy and Sharleen; brother, Jerry and 11 grandchildren.
A celebration of life, potluck-style, is being planned for Saturday, June 6 at Mount Shasta City Park. For more information call 530-964-3261.
In lieu of flowers, a James Leonard Nelson memorial fund has been established at Bank of America to help pay final expenses. Checks can be made payable to Judy Farrar and mailed to PO?Box 594 Oak View, CA 93022.