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Arnold G. Nelson

Dec. 2, 2010

Photo of Western Michigan University professor emeritis Arnold Nelson.Dr. Arnold G. Nelson, professor emeritus of English at Western Michigan University, died Nov. 13 in Fitchburg, Wis. He was 92.

Nelson joined the WMU faculty in 1954 and retired in 1981 with 26 years of service to the University. Prior to joining the WMU faculty, he taught for one year at Stout Institute, now the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

During his tenure at WMU, he and a colleague produced a radio program on communication, "We Mean to Say," for public radio station WMUK, and he received a Fulbright grant to teach American Literature in Turku, Finland, during the 1964-65 academic year.

Upon retirement, he and his wife, Helen, moved to Ludington, Mich., and in 2003, moved to the Madison, Wis., area, where he resided until his death. Their retirement travels included rafting on the Colorado River, camping on Isle Royale in Lake Superior, and trips to England, Sweden and Iceland. They also traveled to Alaska, where Helen's grandfather, Edwin M. Randall, had traveled and taken many photographs of the mining operations and living conditions during the height of the Gold Rush.

At age 90, Arnold Nelson completed a memoir and critique of writing titled "How to Write a Good Sentence: A Manual for Writers Who Know How to Write Correct Sentences," which was published in the Alaska Quarterly Review.

Nelson was born July 10, 1918, to Frank and Anna Nelson in Stillwater, Minn. He graduated from Hamline University, and after serving in the Army Air Corps in World War II, he returned to school at the University of Minnesota to earn a master's degree, and a doctorate in American Studies.

He is survived by his wife, Helen, and his daughters Kristine Seaman of Chattanooga, Tenn., Ingrid N. Kelley of Madison, Wis., and Linnea Nelson of Owen Sound, Ontario, and by several grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Heifer Project through the Nelson Family page on the Heifer Project website.

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Media contact: Thom Myers, (269) 387-8400, thom.myers@wmich.edu

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