Clyde Nelson, Jr., a Petaluma attorney and longtime education booster, died Oct. 10. He was 91.
The class president of Petaluma High School, class of 1942, Nelson attended the Alameda Merchant Marine Officer’s School, and served three years during World War II on a supply ship in the South Pacific. At UC Berkeley, he earned a degree in economics in 1948, and met and married Winifred Lucille Hunt.
As a graduate of Hastings Law School in 1952, Nelson began his law practice with Albert P. Behrens, Jr. in Petaluma. He was a highly respected attorney who practiced for more than 60 years, retiring at age 88.
An Eagle Scout and avid outdoorsman, he completing a cross-continental bicycle ride with family members in 1987. He loved vacationing in Hawaii, weekly bike rides followed by large family dinners, poetry — especially Kipling — backpacking, sailing on the San Francisco Bay and recounting stories of his many adventures.
A committed community member, he was elected to the Petaluma School Board, Petaluma Hospital Board, Sonoma County BAR Association President, Petaluma Swim Club president, and was a founding member and first president of the Petaluma Educational Foundation in 1982.
A devoted family man, he and Wini, who died in 1999, raised four children, Janet, David, Judy, and Dan. Clyde married Marian Rudolph in 2002, and together they enjoyed his last years.
Clyde is survived by his wife Marian Rudolph Nelson and children Janet Knudson, David Nelson, Judith Jordan and Daniel Nelson; stepchildren Rebecca Johnston, William Rudolph, Mark Rudolph, Sally Callahan and Susan Deutsch; 17 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.
A celebration of life and reception will be held at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 40 5th St., Petaluma on Sunday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. Donations in Nelson’s memory may be made to Petaluma Educational Foundation, 200 Douglas St., Petaluma 94952, a Boy Scout Troop of your choice, or St. John’s Episcopal Church, Petaluma.