William “Bill” Nelson, 85, of Junction City, passed from this life on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012, at the Medical Center of South Arkansas following a brief illness.

He was born on July 14, 1927, in Bernice, La., to the late Oakes and Ula (Pilgreen) Nelson. Bill first attended Hendrix College in Conway for two years before transferring to Louisiana Tech in Ruston to finish his degree. Bill was obviously very determined to get his education because he had to hitchhike back and forth from Junction to college. His determination ultimately obtained him a bachelor of science degree in business administration. Bill was the owner and operator of Nelsons Exxon, a full service station in Junction City. He retired after 40-plus years in the business. Bill also was the caretaker and overseer of the Roselawn Cemetery for more than 30 years. He was a former member of the Junction City Volunteer Fire Department, where he served for many years and was a member of the First Baptist Church of Junction City. Bill loved being outdoors, whether it be hunting, fishing or tending to his vegetable garden.  Bill was one of the most determined people around and always stayed going strong even with all his health problems. In later years, Bill and Rita enjoyed going to the Senior Citizen Center in Junction City on a daily basis, eating meals and talking to all their friends. Bill also enjoyed working crossword puzzles. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; his first wife, Marilyn Blackmon Nelson; one brother, Bobby Nelson; and one step-son,  Master Peace. 

Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Rita Nelson; one daughter, Dr. Susan Nelson; two sisters, Peggy Williams and Patsy Owens and her husband, Glen, all of Junction City; two step-daughters, Lydia Peace Hall of Spring, Texas, and Jo Ann Thurmon of Junction City; one step-son, Conrad Peace, also of Junction City; and numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends. 

 Funeral will be held at 10 a.m. today at Bailey Funeral Home in Junction City with Bro. Milton Wilson officiating, assisted by Bro. Claude Patterson and Bro. Don Ossmon. Burial will follow in Roselawn Cemetery under the direction of Bailey Funeral Home of Junction City. 

The family wishes to say a special thank you to Dr. C.D. Williams and nurse, Lori Holder, for all their compassionate care to Bill during all of his illnesses. Also, a special thanks to all those who helped Mr. Bill at the Senior Citizen Center.

Memorials may be made to the Roselawn Cemetery Fund in memory of Bill Nelson, P.O. Box 837, Junction City, AR 71749.

An online guestbook is available at www.baileyfuneralhome.net

Published: 10/05/2012