Last updated 4/20/2023 at 9:18am
Jan. 12, 1951 – March 30, 2023
Paul Nelson was born to Henry Charles and Irma Nelson on 12 January 1951 in Spokane and lost his thirteen-year battle with cancer on 30 March 2023.
Paul graduated from Lewis and Clark High School in 1969 where he played basketball and football and was a four-year starter at first base for the varsity baseball team. He was a proud, lifelong Tiger. He became a journeyman plumber and pipefitter in the early 1970s, and his first job was with family friends Skip and Denny of 3D Mechanical. Paul retired from the Community Colleges of Spokane in January 2020 after 50 years of working as a union plumber, mostly in the Spokane area. Throughout his career, he was well known for taking on side jobs and providing all manner of plumbing help and advice.
In the early 1970s, Paul met and fell in love with Susan Lund, marrying her and having three children who were the joys of his life. After his divorce, Paul met, fell in love, and married his best friend Helen Bannerman-Nelson and moved to Cheney. They enjoyed nearly 27 years together. Everyone who met Paul remembered him for his big smile and friendly attitude. Paul enjoyed single malt Scotch, gardening at home and in the Cheney Community Garden, playing golf, watching English comedies and mysteries, traveling to England and Scotland (especially to the distilleries), and volunteering as a Court Marshall at Hoopfest, but the most important and enjoyable thing for him was being a basketball and football official. Plumbing was what he did for work, but officiating was his passion. He absolutely loved the kids and made it a habit to tell all the kids to "HAVE FUN" before every football or basketball game. Just days before his death, Paul was honored by the Spokane Basketball Officials Association with a place in the S.W.B.B. Hall of Fame for almost forty years of service to the basketball community in Washington State as an official.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Irma, brother Earl, and first wife Sue. He is survived by his wife Helen, son Jon (Alana), daughter Anica Faucett (Jim), daughter Tawnie, grandchildren Stacey, Samara, Nate, Lailah, Kiernan, and Davis, his brother Louis (Carolyn), stepchildren Lorin, Liahann, and Dan, and step grandson Alexander. We will remember his laugh and enjoyment of life rather than his pain.
A Memorial will be held in July (date, place, and time TBA). Donations in his memory may be made to Lewis and Clark for students needing financial help to participate in sports.