John A. Nelson

March 11, 1948 ~ July 17, 2021 (age 73)


            John A. Nelson, 73, of Greenville, PA went to be with his Lord Jesus on Saturday, July 17, 2021 at his home with his wife, Gale; his brother-in-law, Joe Klingler; and dear friend, Chris Wright, by his side following a two and a half month battle with pancreatic cancer. 

            He was born March 11, 1948 in Coudersport, PA; the youngest of two sons born to Arthur and Mary (Hamilton) Nelson. 

            John was a 1966 graduate of Northern Potter High School.  He began his track career in high school and received a full track scholarship to Azusa Pacific College in California, where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Psychology.  He then went on to earn his Master’s degree at Pepperdine University in California.  He completed several years of clinical psychology before attending Penn State University, attaining his doctoral degree in Community Systems Management & Development. 

            He served as a director of mental health clinics in Colorado.  When federal funds were cut for mental health clinics, he decided to make a career change and went to F.A.A. School and became licensed as a jet engine mechanic.  He was then employed by United Airlines in San Francisco, Denver, and Washington D.C. before retiring in 2018.

            Surviving is his wife, Gale (Klingler) Nelson, whom he married on February 15, 2008. John and Gale graduated high school together. 

            Also surviving is his older brother, Paul Nelson and his wife Winnie; two nephews and their wives and children; his brother-in-law, Joe Klingler; and six cousins: Joan Torrey, Joy Glassmire, Ruth Warriner, Lois Jean Pelton, Louise Carpenter, and Doug Hamilton. 

            He was preceded in death by his grandparents, parents, and a cousin. 

            John ran God’s Country Marathons and Half-Marathons several times, and was well enough to be able attend the 2021 race and cheer on the runners. 

            Even though the diagnosis of pancreatic cancer was a shock and progressed quickly, John, Gale, and their family and friends hoped and prayed for a miracle of healing here on earth right to the end; he is now ultimately healed in the most perfect way forever and with his Lord. 

            A private service will be held for family and friends.  Interment will be in Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Shippenville.  Funeral arrangements are being completed by Hile-Best Funeral Home in Seneca, PA.  To express online condolences to John’s family, please visit

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