School 21

William "Bill" Nelson

April 10, 1930 ~ May 8, 2022 (age 92)

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Mr. William “Bill” McCarthy Nelson, 92, of Lumberton, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 8, 2022. Bill was born on Thursday, April 10, 1930, to Andrew Arthur Nelson and Mary Kathleen (McCarthy) Nelson in Galveston, Texas.

Bill grew up in the southeast Texas area his entire life and while not a Lumberton native was still an integral part of the development of the City of Lumberton since the 1960s, shaping it into the Lumberton that we know and love today. Bill’s contributions began as a principal for Lumberton ISD from 1967-1970, and then continued when he served as Superintendent for Lumberton ISD from 1970-1979. After time spent serving on the Lumberton ISD Board of Trustees and the Texas Association of School Boards, Bill proudly served as Mayor of Lumberton from 1998-2004. During his tenure as Mayor, Bill was even able to help with building of the Lumberton Police Department. Always focused on creating the best for the town he loved, his time spent working with 1ST State Band of Lumberton, running and co-owning several businesses in town, and helping shape the iconic symbols we love today such as our mascot- Lumberton Raiders, are just a few of the lasting impacts Bill has had on his hometown. Bill was named citizen of the year in 1997 for his accomplishments and contributions.

Bill’s accomplishments in life are not simply regulated to the amazing impact on the community- but also can be seen in the family he loved and the home he built. A supportive husband, loving father, and amazing grandfather, Bill was truly a family man. His love for his family is often what inspired his ambition and drive to improve the town he loved for the family he was always thinking about.  Bill’s support of the community he loved, as well as his care and devotion to the friends and family he held dear will not soon be forgotten and he will be deeply missed.

Left to cherish his memory is his beloved wife Shirley (Bayless) Nelson of Lumberton; his children: Chris VanKampen and husband Bill of Tennessee, David Drake Jr. and Paula of Silsbee, and Michelle Mackey and husband Kyle of Silsbee; his grandchildren: Kortney Calhoun and husband Josh, Kalynn Ligon and husband Ty, Garrett Drake and wife Jennifer, Kanon Mackey, Janaya Lavalais, Kolten Mackey and wife Cassie, Atticus Wright and Triston Wright; his great-grandchildren: Kase Ligon, Ford Calhoun, Kooper Ligon, Keller Ligon, Tatum Mackey, Forrest Drake, Hudson Calhoun,; as well as innumerable students, co-workers, friends, and extended family over the many years.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents: Andrew Arthur Nelson and Mary Kathleen (McCarthy) Nelson; and his 3 siblings.

To honor the life and legacy of William “Bill” Nelson, a memorial service will be held on Tuesday, May 17, 2022, beginning at 6:00 pm at Grace Church (1130 Hwy 69, Kountze, TX 77625).

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Memorial Service
May 17, 2022

6:00 PM
Grace Church
1130 Hwy 69
Kountze, TX 77625

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