Valdosta Daily Times

January 30, 2014

Melvin Nelson, Sr.

The Valdosta Daily Times

VALDOSTA — Melvin Nelson, Sr., was born on April 17, 1928 to the late Rutherford “Rufus” Nelson, Sr. and Rachel Butler Nelson. He was educated in the Valdosta City School System. He was married to the late Lillie Margaret Battle Nelson. He departed this life on Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014 at South Georgia Medical Center.

Melvin was a member of the Woodlawn Forrest Church of Christ. Melvin was employed by the City of Valdosta for more than 50 years. During his tenure, he began as a laborer and eventually attained the rank of Cemetery Supervisor. He was instrumental in providing the information used to confirm the existence and location of unmarked slave graves. This information led to the erection of the Slave Monument in Sunset Hill Cemetery. In recognition of his efforts and service, the City of Valdosta declared Friday, Feb. 12, 2010, as “Melvin Nelson Day.”  Melvin was able to help many people locate the unmarked graves of their loved ones whose locations were not listed in the computer. He did this from memory. Because of his ability, he was nicknamed the “computer”.

He was a 50 year member of the American Legion 503 and lifetime member of the AMVETS Post 607. Melvin was an avid golfer and a member of the Valdosta Golf Association. He enjoyed working in the yard, sitting at the corner store, eating Chinese food, and spending time with his “Noonie Cat.”

Melvin was preceded in death by his parents and wife, a son: Mickey J. Nelson, sisters:  Mae Jetter and Sarah Nelson, brothers:  Loraine, Isaac, Wilmer, Rufus, Jr., Albert, and Preston Nelson, and granddaughter: Demita Nelson.

His leaves to cherish his memories his sons, Charles (Lynn) Sermons, Sr., Marvin Nelson, Melvin Nelson, Jr., Otis Whitfield, and James (Carolyn) Nelson;  his daughters, Deloris Sermons, Rachel Bradley, Melanie (James) Stewart, Stephanie Corbett, and Melvinya (Quentin) McGee; his sister, Beatrice Stoney; sisters-in-law, Delbra Battles, and Rose Nelson; 47 grandchildren; 67 great-grandchildren; and two great-great grandchildren; also a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, god children, and friends.  

Funeral service will be held on Saturday, Feb. 1, 2014 at 11 a.m. at Woodlawn Forrest Church of Christ. Bro. Leroy Butler, Jr., officiating. Burial will follow in Sunset Hill Cemetery. Public viewing will be held on today from 2-8 p.m. at the funeral home. — Stevens Funeral Home of Valdosta