Evan Ray Nelson

JULY 1, 1936 – MARCH 7, 2022

Evan Ray Nelson, 85, died Monday, March 7, in Norman, OK surrounded by family. Evan was born July 1, 1936, in Duncan to Levi and Halene Nelson. He was raised in Oklahoma City where he met his lifelong sweetheart, Dolores, when she showed up at his house to borrow his bicycle. Always a charmer, Evan convinced her to elope as soon as he turned 18 and was preparing to enlist in the U.S. Air Force. During the Vietnam War, he achieved the rank of master sergeant and served as water survival instructor. He spent years scuba diving while stationed in Florida. He became a survival expert and put his skills to the test when he and his daughter accidentally grounded their boat on a reef in Florida. He immediately began rationing beanie weanies and shooting off flares until the tide came in. An avid outdoorsman, Evan used to spend hours in his fishing boat, trying to teach his grandson not to catch trees. He could never have enough lures, so he made his own.

Evan and his son built the Denver Corner convenience store, and Evan ran it successfully for decades. Known for his generosity and sense of humor, few things made Evan happier than spending time with his family, his weekly poker games with friends and sharing his time, advice and money. He once sent his granddaughter flowers wrapped in duct tape with a note that said: “These flowers may die, but my love for you never will.” He always saw the best in his family and had encouraging words.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his son, Larry Nelson. He is survived by his wife of 67 years; his daughter, Carrie (Ken) Baker; daughter-in-law, Debbie Nelson; grandchildren, Derrick (Janelle) Nelson, Erica (Josh) Menchaca, Johnny (Daysha) Nelson, Kristy McCoy and Wendy Pool; and two great-grandchildren, Elora and Isaac Nelson. Evan’s family will receive friends March 13 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Primrose Funeral Home. Services will be held at 1 p.m. March 14 at Goodrich United Methodist Church in Norman. Burial will follow at Sunset Memorial Cemetery on Indian Hills Road. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Goodrich United Methodist Church’s Building Fund, 200 W. Hayes, Norman, OK 73069.

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.primrosefuneralservice.com for the Nelson family.