Sky Scene 05

Dr. Elijah L. Nelson

March 9, 1928 ~ June 12, 2021 (age 93)


DR. ELIJAH LOUIS NELSON March 9, 1928 - June 12, 2021
Elijah L. Nelson, Professor Emeritus of Campbell University-Retired and Resident of Buies Creek, NC, passed away and flew to the Heavens & Universe on June 12, 2021 at the age of 93 at Wake Medical Center.

Elijah is survived by his daughter, Debra Nelson Taylor (Rick) of Vashon Island-Seattle, WA and a son, Kevin L. Nelson (Sabra) of Dunn, NC. He is a Grandfather to, Jonathon Taylor, Seattle, WA, Rebecca Taylor Clemmon (Mickey), Sydney-Australia, Jennifer Taylor, Boston, MA, Morgan Pierce, Clayton, NC and Anna Nelson Sprouse (Cameron), Sanford, NC. He is a Great Grandfather to Adeline & Clover. He is predeceased by his wife, Patsy Ruth Miller Nelson.

Elijah was born in Stacy, NC to Willie Nelson and Angie Mason on March 9, 1928. At the age of 4 and after the 1933 Hurricane, the Nelsons moved to Morehead City, NC. As he said with a great laugh, “We Floated.” He held degrees from East Carolina University & the University of Florida-Sarasota with Graduate Work from the University of Colorado-Boulder all in the Natural Sciences & Physics-Science Education. He served in the US Army post WWII in Germany with Occupational Forces during the Korean War.

He was a devoted Educator who loved being a University Professor for over 35 years between 1956-1992. His passion was Astronomy/Physics and anything about the Universe and Space. He was definitely a Star Trek fan and witness to Project Apollo. He counted as his greatest achievement to “Teach the Sciences” to future Teachers in our Public and Private Schools throughout the State and Nation. He loved to sit at the Campbell University Coffee Shop and converse with his colleagues, students, as well as the Physical Plant-Maintenance & Housekeeping Staff on all topics of the day. A long time member of the Lillington United Methodist Church where he taught the Brock Adult Sunday School class for many years. He will be deeply missed by his family and former students. He loved reminding people “You are better off to Laugh, than to Cry.”

A graveside service will be held at 9:30 AM Friday, June 18, 2021, at Westview Cemetery in Lillington. The family will receive friends at the cemetery following the service. Friends are invited to visit O’Quinn-Peebles-Phillips Funeral Home on Thursday, June 17, 2021, between the hours of 1:00 PM and 5:00 PM to pay their respects to Dr. Nelson. The family will not be present.

In accordance with current North Carolina COVID-19 guidelines, the funeral home requests that everyone in attendance practice social distancing. 

The family wishes to express deep gratitude to his caretaker, Ms. Lydia Smith of Dunn, NC for her many years of taking care of him at the end of his life, as well as the Staff at Cadence of Garner.

In lieu of flowers, the family request memorials to be made to the Campbell University Friends of the Library or the Lillington United Methodist Church.


To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Dr. Elijah L. Nelson, please visit our floral store.


Graveside Service
June 18, 2021

9:30 AM
Westview Cemetery, Lillington

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