Andrew Gerard Nelson, 95

Andrew Gerard Nelson, 95, of West Bend, passed away Jan. 29, 2011, at Cedar Lake Health and Rehabilitation Center.

Andrew was born in Sheffield, Pa., on Jan. 2, 1916, the son of Elmer William Henry Nelson and Esther Marie Lindgren Nelson.

He attended business college, worked for the Civilian Conservation Corps in Washington, D.C., during the Depression, attended Purdue University and spent several years working in the Canal Zone, where he also studied Spanish at the University of Panama. During World War II, he served the U.S. Army in Panama and the Canal Zone, carrying out classified assignments and eventually attaining the rank of sergeant.

After discharge, he returned to Purdue University, where he graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. While there, Andrew met Helen Bixler. They married in 1949 and settled in Milwaukee, where Andrew worked as a lab technician and finally as chief engineer for the heating and ventilation division of Mueller Climatrol. For several years they lived in Waterford and in the early 1970s in Hightstown, N.J.

For many years, Andrew was active as an organist for the Lutheran church and was an avid stamp collector. After retiring at age 65, Andrew and Helen moved to Oxford, where he enjoyed gardening and volunteer outdoor work, helping in the ongoing recovery of the bluebird population by building and installing bluebird boxes. At the age of 72, he took up weaving, which became an abiding passion. Over the next 20 years, he created hundreds of intricate and beautiful rugs and wall hangings, several featured in Handwoven Magazine. Andrew and Helen moved to West Bend in the mid 1990s, residing at Cedar Ridge Apartments. Helen passed away in 2007.

Andrew is survived by his daughters, Andrea Lee Nelson (Rich Lehmicke) of Madison and Christine Martha Nelson (Fred Burwell) of Beloit; and one grandson, Benjamin Andrew Nelson Burwell.

He was predeceased by two sisters, Jane McIntosh and Doris Pastrick.

In accordance with Andrew’s wishes, there will not be any services.

The Schmidt Funeral Home of West Bend is serving the family. Online guestbook and condolences are available at