American Veteran 04

Vern Nelson

October 31, 1931 ~ March 2, 2021 (age 89)


Vern James Nelson, 89 years of age, of Huntington Beach, CA, passed away on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021, in his hometown of Huntington Beach.

Vern James Nelson was born in Los Angeles, California, to Vernon Armand Nelson and Cecilia Quiroz Nelson on October 31st, 1931. He attended school at Washington High School and Loyola High School in Los Angeles, graduating in 1948. He worked in various roles including Research and Development for Southern California Edison for over 30 years. He invested vast amounts of hours volunteering for the Boy Scouts of America, the Knights of Columbus, various youth and high school sports teams, the SCE Diamond Club, and many other organizations. Vern was a man of family, service, and sacrifice, and the impact of his immeasurable generosity was enjoyed by his family and community alike. Vern served in the United States Navy from 1951 to 1955 and was stationed at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii; he was also a proud member of the American Legion and an avid supporter of all veterans. His unwavering work ethic is one of his most pronounced attributes, often working multiple jobs simultaneously to provide for his family. Post-retirement, he continued to serve in many roles, including as a Huntington Beach crossing guard, where he was treasured by the children and families along his route. He also owned and managed VA Enterprises and enjoyed his well-earned time with his family, especially during his famous backyard barbeques.

Vern James Nelson is survived by his beloved wife of 60 years, Anne Rita Nelson, of Huntington Beach, California, and his brother Robert Nelson of San Antonio, TX. He is also survived by his children Vern Patrick Nelson, Sheila Dodd, Colleen Coffey, John Nelson, Christina Catalano, Daniel Nelson, Kiera Schlechner, and Terence Nelson, as well as 17 beloved grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his son Michael Nelson. Vern was devoted to his wife and children for over 60 years and worked tirelessly to support them and provide them with the best opportunities and education. His unwavering affection for his beloved wife, Anne Rita, and his commitment to his family inspire all who knew him. Vern’s work ethic and community volunteerism were phenomenal. He was a Boy Scout leader, a volunteer for civic and Catholic events for decades, an involved community member, a man of deep faith and profound influence and humility. His legacy and love will be felt for generations.

In lieu of flowers, please send memorial donations in his name to the Saddleback College Foundation Student Veterans Account, 28000 Marguerite Parkway, Mission Viejo, CA 92692 or

If interested, viewing services will be livestreamed from 1 to 3 pm on Wednesday, March 17th, at ; his funeral mass, scheduled for 10:00 am on Thursday, March 18th, will be livestreamed at


To plant a tree in memory of Vern Nelson, please click here.



Good Shepherd Cemetery
8301 Talbert Ave.
Huntington Beach, CA 92646

© 2021 Heritage-Dilday Memorial Services. All Rights Reserved. | Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Do Not Sell My Personal Information