Bryce O. Nelson, 85, of Burley, formerly of Blackfoot, passed away July 12, 2014 in Burley.
Bryce was born September 20, 1928 in Preston, Idaho to Lula Violet Olson Nelson and Laretts Walter Nelson. Bryce was the eighth child of ten.
He grew up in Thatcher, Idaho. Bryce also lived in Blackfoot and Seattle, Washington prior to joining the Navy.
Bryce met, fell in love with, and married the love of his life, Willene “Willie” Bernard. They met on the beach in California. It was love at first sight. Their marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls LDS Temple on January 13, 1990. They started their life together in Blackfoot, bought their first house in Pocatello and later moved to their home on a cattle ranch on the East Fork of the Salmon River, near Clayton, Idaho.
Bryce ran a gas station while they were in Pocatello, but his real love was the several cattle ranches he owned on the East Fork and the country surrounding them. Bryce was proud to provide the “heaven on earth” for his family to grow in. The ranch work was hard but Bryce was it’s match. He was always proud and meticulous. His cut hay fields were prettier than most mown lawns. His stock was the valleys best. Bryce hauled more than one newborn calf into the kitchen to be dried off and warmed up by the wood stove during a cold winter evening.
Bryce loved to fish. He trout fished a lot, but Bryce loved to Salmon fish. He would get up early at the ranch, do chores, change irrigation water, then head for one of his three favorite Salmon fishing holes “Sunbeam Dam” (his favorite), “Deadmans” and “Ziegler Holes”. Bryce was probably the best Salmon fisherman in the state, if not the country. He would walk onto a hole and most everyone knew him. Many times a fisherman would say to another one “If there’s a Salmon in there, that guy will catch it.” Bryce guided many people and taught them how to Salmon fish and he also got joy out of just helping a complete stranger to at least hook a fish. Salmon fishing took a knack and Bryce had it, at it’s best.
Bryce sold his last ranch on East Fork and moved to Blackfoot in 1969 as Willene became extremely ill with asthma every spring on the river. He worked with his brother, Stan, in sporting goods, bought a farm and built a dairy, worked for the Idaho Department of Agriculture and finally retired in 1993. Although Bryce retired, he never quit working. He truly enjoyed work, and no matter the project he was working on, big or small, it always go the same amount of attention. It was always done right and you knew if Bryce was working on it, the outcome would be meticulous. Bryce bought many places in his life and always saw what a place could be, regardless of what kind of shape it was in when he bought it. He always enjoyed the work fixing a place up and never had a problem selling one when he was done.
Bryce was so proficient at his buying and selling of property, he studied, took his real estate test and obtained his real estate license.
Bryce liked to golf, although he thought it was the stupidest game he had ever seen, until Terry finally talked him into going with him golfing. Bryce recorded a 23 on his first hole, a par 3, but was hooked. He wanted to go golfing at every turn!
Bryce lost his sweetheart, Willene, in April of 2006. Bryce sold his place in Blackfoot and moved to Burley to live with his son, Terry.
Bryce is survived by two sons, Sterling (Marla) Nelson and Terry Nelson; one daughter, Talie; one sister, Opal (Max) Trudo; grandchildren, Corey Nelson, Troy Nelson, Shanele Kelly and Maili Nelson; and 13 great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Willene; daughter, Tammy; three brothers; and five sisters.
A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, July 18, 2014 at Hawker Funeral Home, 132 South Shilling Avenue in Blackfoot. Family will meet with friends and relatives for one hour prior to services at the funeral home. Interment will follow at 3:00 p.m. at the Thatcher Cemetery in Grace, Idaho. Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.hawkerfuneralhome.com.