John Nelson, 72, of rural Kellogg passed away suddenly on Sunday, Aug. 4, 2019 at his home. John is survived by his sister, Ellen Nelson Pierson and husband, James of Urbandale; nephew, Thomas Pierson and his wife Gretchen of Inver Grove Heights, Minn.; and their daughters, Marlo and Vada. John was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Harriet Nelson of Newton and his loyal canine companions Poncho, Tasha and Daisy.
John graduated from Newton High School in 1965. He attended Iowa State University and graduated from the University of South Dakota with a degree in business administration. He turned his life-time interest in amateur radio into a career by joining the staff of the American Radio Relay League in Newington, Conn., where he served as publication circulation manager, advancing to deputy manager of publications and planning and financial analysis manager. After working for the League for more than 25 years, John returned to Newton and pursued a second career publishing books related to the history of the Rock Island Railroad.
John, K0IO, was a long-time member of Newton Amateur Radio Association Inc. and held offices as emergency coordinator, historian, vice president and president. John was also an active Storm Spotter. When severe weather threatened Jasper County, John would join other ham radio club members and report any severe weather to the 911 - Emergency Communication Center. He was always ready to assist the sheriff’s department when communications support was needed.
Ham radio was truly his passion. He spent many long nights contacting hams around the world and would spend entire weekends participating in ham contests. He leaves many very good friends who shared his enthusiasm for amateur radio.
The family will say good-bye to John at a private gravesite gathering. Memorial contributions may be made to the Poweshiek Animal League Shelter (PALS), the Newton Amateur Radio Club or charity of your choice. The Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory in Newton is handling John’s arrangements.