Dana John Nelson, 72, died at home, May 21, 2022, taking his final call into the Redwoods. He passed at home in Arcata, under the care of Hospice of Humboldt, just as he wanted.    

Dana was born on 9/9/49 in Bend, Oregon, to Albin and Margaret Nelson, the youngest of 5 children. He loved growing up with nieces and nephews so close to him in age and continued to love and adore “the girls,” Sheila Pethoud, Pamela Howard and Terri Adams, until his final days. 

Dana worked for Southern Pacific/Union Pacific Railroad for over 30 years mainly as a conductor and served in the US Navy. He spent many years coaching youth sports in Roseville and was lucky enough to recently coach Sophia and India in their first year of Humboldt Fast pitch Softball.

Dana was a gentle giant, actually a big kid himself and was happiest playing with his grandkids and taking them to all kinds of activities. You would often find him on the floor wrestling or interacting in some way with at least one of them. His desire for a final sendoff was a party where the grandkids could celebrate their life experiences with him, and have closure with happy memories.

He was preceded in death by his parents, sisters Greta Dietz and Anne Teboe and brother Thomas Nelson.  He is survived by sister Rebecca Evans and her sons, Eric and Charles and sister-in-law Virginia Daley and her family, all of Sacramento. He leaves to grieve his passing, his devoted wife and best friend of 30 years, Jerrie Nelson of Arcata. He was the loved and respected step-father of Howard Croy, Jr and his wife Kristine, and Heather Spetzler and her husband Gabe. He will be sorely missed by his cherished Humboldt grandchildren, Sophia Spetzler, India Croy, Georgie Croy and Izaiah Spetzler, all of Arcata. He is also survived by son Trevor Nelson, his wife Jennifer and their daughter, Charlotte and son Shane Nelson, his wife Shannon and their sons, Chase and Colby, all of Roseville. In addition he leaves behind his fur boys Willie and Shasta.

Most of all he was proudest of his friendship with Bill W. for the past twenty-three and a half years. “Peace Out.”

A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, July 9 at the kid’s “homestead” in Arcata.  A private scattering of his cremains will be held at a later date.


The obituary above was submitted by Dana’s loved onesThe Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email news@lostcoastoutpost.com.