Mark Randall Nelson, 70, joined his predeceased loved ones and Jesus, Thursday, October 10th 2019, at
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home in Lakewood, CO following a bout with an aggressive cancer.
He leaves his wife and best friend of 51 years, Marilyn (Leach) Nelson; his son, Michael Nelson and his
wife, Christy Nelson; his son, Matthew Nelson and his wife Lisa Nelson; his grandsons Austin, Chace,
Joshua and Luke; his sister Marcia Cleveland; his sister Linda Sheffield; and numerous nephews and
nieces. Mark was preceded in death by his parents Everett and Gertrude (Thomas) Nelson.
Born in 1949 and raised in Colorado, Mark spent most of his life in Lakewood. Mark and Marilyn met at
Lakewood High School, where Mark graduated in 1967. The two married shortly after and settled in Salt
Lake City while Mark attended the University of Utah. Mark began his career in Utah, working full time
and attending college full time, while raising his two boys. He also became an avid hunter and mountain
climber during this time in Utah. This love of the outdoors would stay with Mark for the rest of his
Inspired by “Rocky Mountain High” Mark and his family returned to Colorado in the mid-1970s. There,
Mark started his own business as a manufacturer’s representative for the food service and hospitality
industry. He became a standout beloved member of the industry, continuing in that field until his death.
Mark’s love of the outdoors drove him to become a skilled fly-fisherman, mountaineer and a lifetime
member of the Colorado Bowhunter’s Association. Scuba diving and annual trips to Yellowstone also
grew from Mark and Marilyn’s love of being outside.
Mark was fearless and never went half into anything. If something did not work right, or if he did not have
a skill, Mark would either invent a new tool, or perfect a new talent. This extended to his skill at golf and
his being a chapter president of AA.
Unsurprisingly, Mark was also a self-taught musician. Starting in the 1960s, Mark enjoyed playing guitar
in multiple bands stretching through the 1990s. His most enduring band was with Jim Higgins in the
Corner Music Store. Mark extended the legacy of this band through his YouTube channel where he
produced cover videos of many of his favorite songs. Grandkids, extended family, and talented musical
guests all spent time in the studio Mark built in his home.
Mark’s greatest joy was sharing all these wonderful activities with his wife, sons and grandsons. His
nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews all grew to love spending time on his hobbies and
adventures. All who knew him benefited and were affected by his love and wisdom. And, if you ever
learned to drive with him, that wisdom taught you to avoid the kid running out from behind the car.
It has been said that he makes you want to be a better person. The last ten years of his life, with his
dedication to sobriety were his best, where he strove to impact the lives of those who struggle. He knew
that he could best help himself through helping others. Our loss is Heaven’s gain.
A memorial celebration of his life will be held in his home at 145 S. Zephyr St, in Lakewood, Colorado on
October 19th, 2019 from 1pm to 4pm.