Downie Nelson - Morgan County Herald: Obituaries

Downie Nelson

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Posted: Friday, August 30, 2019 5:32 pm

Downie Nelson, 94, of McConnelsville, OH, passed away peacefully at Morrison House while under the care of Genesis Hospice in Zanesville, Ohio, on Thursday, Aug. 29, 2019.

He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Delma Riggs Nelson.

Downie was born March 15, 1925, in Meigs County, OH, the younger of two sons of the late Mace and Ora Nelson.

He was a 1943 graduate of Columbia High School, located in Meigs County, OH.

In 1955, Downie and his family moved from Crooksville, OH, when he started working at Central Ohio Coal Company and while building their new home on Route 60, north of McConnelsville, with hand saws and other manual tools that today few would attempt. If it could be built, Downie could plan the design in his mind and make it become a reality.

Downie could be seen during the summers on his boat with wife, Delma, and family on the Muskingum River. He built a one-of-a-kind boat dock built from angle iron off an old tower. His dock still stands today at the water's edge as a testament to his building talent.

Anyone who loves fresh garden produce would have had envy for his large garden. Even during dry summer months, Downie would turn on his irrigation system, homemade from all kinds of miscellaneous parts, with water pumped from the river to produce the best sweet corn available.

Throughout his employment years at the Central Ohio Coal Company, he was most noted as one of the operators of the Big Muskie dragline. Over 40 years with Central Ohio and other mines, he served in many positions including welder, oiler and operator.

After retirement in 1988, Downie and Delma enjoyed Florida during the winter months and always loved spending time with their four grandchildren.

Downie was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in McConnelsville.

He is also survived by two daughters and sons-in-law, Larry and Betty Dee Nelson Morin of McConnelsville and Dennis and Darla Nelson Hann of Delaware, OH; four grandchildren, Dr. Matthew (Caroline) Hann of Ocean Springs, MS, Erin Morin (Mike) Matas of Marietta, Erica Morin (Jared) Williams of Shelbyville, KY, and Cara Hann (David) Crippen of Hilliard; and seven great-grandchildren, Charlotte and Wyatt Hann of Ocean Springs, MS, Riley and Owen Crippen of Hilliard, Avery and Audrey Williams of Shelbyville, KY, and MacKenzie Matas of Marietta.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his older brother, Dana; and younger half-brother, Malcolm Nelson.

Friends may call from 2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, at Miller-Huck Funeral Home in McConnelsville.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. September 2, at Miller-Huck Funeral Home, with Pastor Galen Finley officiating.

Burial will be in Meigs County next to the grave of Charlotte, their first born child who died at birth in 1946.

Memorial contributions may be made to Genesis Hospice at 713 Forest Ave, Zanesville, Ohio 43701 or Trinity United Methodist Church at 98 North 10th Street, McConnelsville, Ohio 43756.

Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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