Obituary: Gérard (Rod) L. Nelson
Gerard (Rod) L. Nelson 1925 – 2021 VIRGINIA – Commander US Navy (Ret.) Gerard (Rod) L. Nelson, 96, has successfully completed his last period of service on this planet and has been called to his heavenly home early morning. hours of July 6, 2021, where he now finds the love of his life and 46-year-old wife, Anna May Berry Nelson. His parents, Louis Paul Nelson and Flora Giorgio Nelson, and his sister, Mae Jocelyn Nelson Buckner, also join in the celebration of the heavenly reunion. He is survived by his son L. Paul Nelson II (Lee), his daughters Leslie Ann Nelson Pereira (Charles), Kathryn Berry Nelson Sarver (Tim) and Laura Nelson Kallestad (Mike), and his grandchildren Jeb Sarver (Samantha ), Amanda Sarver (Shawn), Benjamin Sarver (Libby), Zachary Pereira, Katie Pereira, Anna Kallestad, Joseph Kallestad, Katie Turlington, five great-grandchildren and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Rod was born in Staten Island, NY on March 30, 1925, and at a young age moved with his family to Bath, Maine. He has always considered the mid-coast region of Maine as his home. He attended Morse High School and the Fryeburg Academy. He then graduated from Maine Maritime Academy in the war class of 1943-2. Too young to serve, his father had to allow Rod to join the USCG-Merchant Marine as an engineer. During the war, he served on four ships supplying ammunition, food and other essentials to American troops and allied countries. He liked the job, but he didn’t like “being on a ship that couldn’t fight back against the enemy.” In 1946, Rod accepted his commission to the US Navy as an ensign. Over the next 25 years, he served on several ships, including destroyers, amphibious assault ships, LSDs, and guided missile cruisers. His land assignments included Auburn University, Fort. Ord, California, Yorktown Naval Weapons Station, Bahrain Island in the Persian Gulf, and the Pentagon. He also served as a Port Services Officer for Naval Base Norfolk, and his last posting was as Executive Officer for Naval Base Norfolk. He retired from the Navy in 1971. During his service, he received numerous campaign decorations, medals, badges, commendations, citations and ribbons. Rod was also a mason and a member of Solar Star Lodge # 14 AF & AM, Bath, Maine. After his distinguished service in the Navy, Rod remained in Norfolk, Virginia, and was employed by QED Systems, Inc., as well as Old Dominion University where he was deputy director of the ODU physical plant. In 1996, Rod lost his beloved wife and favorite golf partner, Anna May, following a long battle with cancer. Together, they raised four children, played golf, bowled, traveled, gardened and loved each other, their home and their grandchildren. Rod proudly dedicated his life to the service of his country. To those who knew him well, he was a rascal and a storyteller, a loving husband, a father, a grandfather and a great-grandfather, an uncle, a jack of all trades, a good neighbor and a friend. devoted. He will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors on a date to be announced. Our family is deeply grateful to Phil and Rachel, Mike and Beverly; “Good neighbors” doesn’t begin to describe everything they’ve done for him; to her caregivers, Yolanda, Anastassia and Tatiana, who put all their hearts into her care; and to all his family and friends for enriching his life. In lieu of flowers, commemorative donations can be made to “Cdr. GL & Anna Nelson Endowed Scholarship ”at the Maine Maritime Academy (www.mainemaritime.edu/giving). Online condolences can be sent to the family at http://www.altmeyerfuneralandcremation.com/obituary.