Friday, September 30, 2022

James Kellogg Nelson, 88, lifelong learner and teacher

James Kellogg Nelson

OAK ISLAND — James Kellogg Nelson, 88, the love of Muriel Maxwell Nelson’s life, left her side, but not her heart, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017.

His children, Maren Nelson (Bill Hollingsworth), Mark (Ellen) Nelson, Jill (Bruce) Steiner and Scott (Lynn) Nelson; and his grandchildren, Tyler, Will, Marie, Tom, Casey, Arthur, James and Nathanial, were blessed by the love and example he set.

His love of the water, of creating, meeting challenges, and encouraging others to do the same, will be some of the stories told, as he loved a good story. He had stories and pictures from all his world travels. His photo albums and slides are family treasures.

Whether he landed in Ohio (Columbus), Illinois (Des Plaines, Effingham, Marion and Kankakee), Ringgold, Ga., Queretaro, Mexico, Oak Island, N.C., or Liberty, Maine, he was involved in servant leadership. He was a lifelong learner and teacher, always inviting and welcoming others to get outside and enjoy life, including being active in scouting for many years, earning him the Boy Scouts of America Honorary Eagle Mentor designation.

He was born to J. Richards Nelson and Margaret Kellogg Nelson in New Brunswick, N.J., on Feb. 10, 1929. A graduate of New Hampton Prep (’47), Bowdoin College (’51), the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (’53) and Ohio State University (’60), he was an engineer by trade, as well as an avid swimmer, photographer, sailor, and wilderness canoeist.

Those who are able, are invited to be part of the celebration of his life at a memorial Eucharist at 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 19, at St. Philips Episcopal Church, Southport, with a reception to follow in the Parish Hall.

If you cannot join us, we invite you to share on the online guestbook at

He believed in action, so if you wish, in lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to Oak Island Beach Preservation Society, 4601 E. Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, NC 28465; St. Philip’s Episcopal Church, 205 East Moore St., Southport, NC 28461; or St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, 95 Court St., Belfast, ME 04915.

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