David was born on January 24, 1920, in Culbertson, Montana, to David S. Nelson and Josephine (Johnson) Nelson.
David worked hard as part of his pioneer family, herding cattle from a young age, and helping with all the demands of the family farm.
He worked on the building of the Ft. Peck Dam as part of the New Deal, and he worked for the Northern Pacific Railroad and the Great Northern Railway and joined the Montana National Guard.
David graduated from Culbertson High School in 1937.
World War II resulted in the activation of David’s National Guard unit, and he served as a staff sergeant in the army in the South Pacific.
Because of his railroad experience, David was stationed in the Philippines at the end of the war rebuilding railroad lines.
He enjoyed being honored as a veteran throughout his life.
David married Beatrice J. Brasch in 1942, and they had four daughters.
They lived in the Seattle area until David was transferred back home to eastern Montana in 1960.
David was proud of his hard work and career with the railroad, employed by Great Northern, Burlington Northern, and Amtrak, in a variety of positions, ending as a railroad division superintendent with responsibilities covering four states.
He had many lifelong friends in his fellow railroad families.
David and Betty were divorced in 1966, and in 1968, David married Marian Brosinska.
They lived in Spokane, Great Falls, MT, and then Ottumwa, Iowa.
David retired in 1979, and he and Marion lived in Mesa, Arizona, and then Salem, Oregon.
David worked hard and played hard, enjoying socializing and being involved in civic activities.
He loved the outdoors and enjoyed hunting and fishing, and walking in his older years.
He was an avid reader, card player, and gardener, as well as a great cook.
He enjoyed competitive golf and bridge.
After the death of his wife, Marian, in 2003, David moved back to Spokane, and at the time of his death lived at Riverview Terrace, where he enjoyed the social activities, joking with the residents and staff, watching the wildlife, and visiting with his daughters.
David loved music, singing, western history, Louie Lamour novels, making jokes, and living out his Lutheran faith.
David was preceded in death by his parents, his brothers, Ernest and Howard, his sister Myrtle Pyle, and his twin sister, Florence Berg, his wife, Marian, and his former wife, Betty, as well as two nieces and two nephews.
He is survived by his four daughters, Nancy LaBolle, Jeanne Ratliff, Elizabeth Pfiffner, and Kathy Nelson, stepdaughter Cathie (Mike) Glowa, stepson Ray Brosinska, nine grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and seven nieces and nephews.
David’s family wishes to thank the staff of Riverview Terrace for their care and friendship to David and his family.
We also wish to thank the staff of Deaconess Hospital’s Advanced Coronary unit for their excellent medical care and sensitive presence in David’s final days.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be conducted at Riverview Terrace Chapel on March 7 at 2:00 p.m., with Reverend Gary Moore officiating.
A family graveside service will be held at a later date.
Internment will be at Spokane Memorial Gardens, in the Apostles’ Court.