Billy Nelson

Obituary of Billy Nelson

Billy Jack Nelson was born in Detroit, Michigan on March 28, 1929.   He was the only son of three children born to the late Carson Milton and Myrtle “Lucille” (Chambers) Nelson.   He attended school in Detroit, until the age of fifteen when he lied about his age to join the Merchant Marines.   Billy later enlisted with the United States Navy completing his GED.   He worked as an electrician and served his country honorably for twenty years before his retirement on August 3, 1965.

He married the love of his life, the former Annette Melton on November 12, 1960 in Norfolk, Virginia.  Together the couple shared in the birth of five children.  Billy loved to work.   After his retirement from the Navy, Billy took employment with Kelsey-Hayes for twenty years and then spent an additional five years working at CMC while living in Kentucky.  

Billy was a devout Christian and an active member of Monroe Missionary Baptist.   He had a true passion for people.   At church, he served as a Deacon and headed the benevolence ministry, directing those in need of financial, spiritual, or grief support for many years.   He was known as the “Candy Man” because of his pocket full of candy that he generously shared. Billy also worked with the Southern Baptist Convention and Red Cross performing disaster relief after hurricane Georges in Puerto Rico and the terrorist attacks of 9/11 and many others.   He also lent his love of tinkering to the church or fellow members in need, never willing to take anything for his time.

Billy loved his family and animals, especially his cat “Tootsie”.   He was a former member of the Masonic Lodge and as a proud veteran and member of the Fleet Reserve, he was looking forward to a reunion on Tuesday with fellow USS Greene shipmates.

Billy, age 88 of Newport, passed away unexpectedly at Promedica Monroe Regional Hospital on Saturday, September 16, 2017.   In addition to his parents, his passing was preceded by a sister Betty Ila Davis.

To cherish his memory he leaves his beloved wife  Annette; five children Raymond, Michael (Denise), Douglas, Jacquelyn (Douglas) Davis, and Danielle; one sister Patricia (Jacob) Hurick; five grandchildren Joseph, Amber, Ashley, Kayla, and Bradley; three great grandchildren Elizabeth, Emily, Joseph; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Friends may gather from 2:00pm-8:00pm on Tuesday, September 19, 2017 at Merkle Funeral Service, 2442 North Monroe (734) 384-5185.   He will lie in state from 9:00am until funeral services at 10:00am on Wednesday, September 20 at Monroe Missionary Baptist Church, 14260 South Dixie Highway.   Graveside services will follow at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan at 2:00pm.

Memorials are suggested to the church mortgage paydown.   Online guests may visit