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Rev. David B. Nelson, Jr.

Rev. David Brewster Nelson, Jr. age 87, of Alma, MI, passed away Thursday, January 20, 2022, at MyMichigan Medical Center, Alma, MI.

David was born in Ypsilanti, Michigan on August 13, 1934, the son of David Brewster Sr. and Beatrice (Avery) Nelson.  He graduated from Ypsilanti High School.  He earned a bachelor’s degree from CMU and a Master of Divinity from Garrett Theological Seminary.  David proudly served his country in the United States Navy.

On June 25, 1955, David married Karen Ann Stephens in Memphis, TN. They were blessed with 49 years of marriage prior to her death on December 31, 2004.  After her death, David married Emma Jean Freeland on February 28, 2006, in Hastings, MI.

David served in the Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church for 39 years.  He pastored churches in: Mt. Pleasant, Camden, Montgomery, Saugatuck, New Richmond, Coopersville, Nunica, Portage, Ithaca, Beebe, Lansing, Hastings, and Plainwell.  He retired in 1998 as the Conference Council Director.   David enjoyed time with his family and following his grandchildren’s activities. He liked fishing, camping, and playing pinochle.  He was faithful in taking quiet time for personal devotions.

David is survived by his wife Emma Jean, and 5 children: David B. III (Debra) Nelson, Stephens (Debby) Nelson, Faith (Richard) Coston, Sarah (Peter) Kettelhohn, and Sherah MacLaren. He is also survived by 9 grandchildren, 19 great grandchildren, brothers-in-law: Marlon (Virginia) Stephens and Clifford William (Kathryn) Stephens; sisters-in-law: Linda Stephens and Alice Brown; and many nieces and nephews.  David was preceded in death by his parents, wife Karen, granddaughter Karla Coston, sister Emmy Nelson, and brothers-in-law: Neil Stephens and Joe Stephens.

A Memorial Service will be held at Ithaca United Methodist Church, 327 East Center Street
Ithaca, MI 48847, on Monday, January 24, 2022, at 11:00 A.M., with Pastor Gary Simmons officiating.  Visitation will be held on Sunday, January 23, 2022, from 4-8 P.M. at Ithaca United Methodist Church and one hour prior to the service on Monday.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Gratiot County Commission on Aging.  

Online condolences may be made at www.smithfamilyfuneralhomes.com.  The family is being served by Smith Family Funeral Homes, Ithaca, Michigan.

Last Updated on January 21, 2022

The Michigan Conference