Eric Daniel Nelson, 77

Published 9:36 am Monday, August 24, 2015

Eric Daniel Nelson, 77, passed away at his home in Pearl City, Hawaii, on Jan. 9, 2015, after a brief battle with cancer. He was born Oct. 4, 1937, to Sanford and Edna Mae (Lerum) Nelson in Blooming Prairie, Minnesota.

Eric Daniel Nelson

Eric Daniel Nelson

After graduating from Blooming Prairie High School in 1955, Eric enlisted in the U.S. Air Force in October of that year. He completed 33 years, three months and 14 days of military service. Eric’s career spanned a total of 23 years in the Pacific Theater with tours of duty in Japan, Thailand, Republic of Vietnam, Okinawa, Korea and the Pacific Headquarters in Hawaii. At the time of his retirement, Eric was the second highest ranking enlisted person in total active federal service and was one of the top 10 senior Chief Master Sergeants in the Air Force.

Following his retirement from the U.S. Air Force, Eric joined the Radiology Department at Tripler Army Medical Center in 1989. He retired in 2007 after working 18 years in the IT department. After “retirement,” Eric continued on and worked as an independent contractor for the Radiology Department at Walter Reid Army Medical Center.

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Eric was a member of the VFW Lodge and Elks Lodge No. 2669 in Pearl City.

A memorial service was held Feb. 20, 2015, at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (aka “Punchbowl”) in Honolulu.

With few exceptions, Eric returned each year to Blooming Prairie for his high school class reunion in August. During this time, family and friends gathered to reconnect, laugh and share stories.

A celebration and remembrance of Eric’s life will be held at noon at the Fairview Cemetery near Oakland, Minnesota, on Aug. 30, 2015. All who knew Eric are welcome to gather to reconnect, laugh and share stories once more.

Eric was preceded in death by his mother, father; and brothers: Ralph and Charles Nelson.

Survivors from his Minnesota family include his brother Jimmie (Lucille) of Bagley; sisters: Nina Mae Rogers of Blooming Prairie and Marjorie Bush of Palm Springs, California; uncle Thomas (Marian) Lerum of Austin; and many cousins, nieces and nephews. Eric is also survived by his wife Nongyao, of Pearl City, Hawaii; daughter Jo Ann (Joewy) Maneafaiga of Pearl City, Hawaii; sons: James Bice of San Francisco, California, and Randy Bice of Lausanne, Switzerland; daughter Cindy Bice of Honolulu, Hawaii; grandson Mavin Kiaha; brother-in-law Narong Sirisiratana of Lausanne, Switzerland.