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HomeObituariesIn Memory: Walter Reid “Wally” Nelson, Age 90

In Memory: Walter Reid “Wally” Nelson, Age 90

Obituary - Walter Reid “Wally” NelsonWalter Reid “Wally” Nelson, 90, of Rye, New York, Frankfort, Michigan, and Vero Beach, Florida, died peacefully on October 15, 2023. He was the beloved husband of Margaret (Peggy) Nelson for 67 years and the son of Walter and Carolyn Nelson.

Wally attended Belmont public schools and was the first in his family to attend college. Following his graduation from Colgate University in 1954, he joined the U.S. Air Force. As a pilot and captain under the call sign “Captain Midnight,” he met Peggy at the University of Wisconsin on a blind date. Wally and Peggy were married in 1956 in River Forest, Illinois.

Wally began his business career in sales with Procter and Gamble in upstate New York. He then spent 20 years on Wall Street, including serving as Partner at firms Eastman Dillon, Lombard, Nelson & McKenna, and Wertheim & Co. In 1977, he founded Nelson Publications, a publisher and data provider of financial and investment information to 10,000 clients worldwide, including Bloomberg. Nelson Publications was acquired by private equity firm KKR in 1997.

Wally was the loving father of four children: Dean (Maureen) Nelson, Betsy (Rick) Shepherd, Wendy (Paul) Nagle and Tiffany (Jeffrey) Begoon; cherished grandfather of 12: Christopher, Charlie & Colin Nelson, Margaret & Mack Shepherd, Brendan, Charles & Katherine Nagle, Bridget (Thomas) Stephan, Ryan, Maxwell & Casey Begoon.

Wally was a devoted husband and supportive father, who valued respect, confidence, perseverance, honesty, and sportsmanship. He was an avid golfer with four hole-in-ones to his credit and an active member of the United States Seniors Golf Association for 25 years. His loyalty, love of music and sports, strong work ethic, wit and intelligence will be long remembered by his family and many friends.

Wally’s philanthropic endeavors included serving as an Advisor to the Chicago-based St. Martin dePorres House of Hope (now Southside Center of Hope) for 20 years. He served as a Board Member of Crystal Downs Country Club and The Apawamis Club, and was an active member of Manursing Island Club and Riomar Country Club.

A memorial service and celebration of life will be held in August 2024 at Crystal Downs Country Club in Frankfort, Michigan, a place where generations of family have gathered every summer.

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