The Rev. Fr. William O'Brien Riordan Nelson, 58, passed away February 15, 2010, at Porter Hospice in Centennial, Colorado. Survived by his sister, Joan (Doug) Stearns, of Thornton, Colo.; brother, Richard (Sandra) Nelson of Aiken, South Carolina; nephew, Michael Stearns; and nieces, Molly, Elaine and Anna Nelson. Preceded in death by his parents, Richard A. and Joan R. Nelson and his beloved dog, Gypsy. Fr. Nelson was born on October 3, 1951, in White Plains, N.Y. At the age of two, his family moved to Denver where he grew up. He attended the Christ the King Catholic School, Mullen High School and graduated from the College of Great Falls in Mont. and the Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corner, Wis. He was ordained into the priesthood on June 11, 1982, in Pueblo, and was assigned to serve his first parish in Walsenburg. He also served parishes in La Junta, Cortez, Monte Vista and most recently in Paonia. Fr. Nelson also served as a police chaplain and would do ministering in the prison system. He cared about people who were hurting. Visitation from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday in the Montgomery & Steward Chapel, with family members present from 3 to 5 p.m. Vigil service, 7 p.m. Sunday and Mass of Christian Burial, 10 a.m. Monday, February 22, 2010, with Bishop Fernando Isern, Bishop Arthur N. Tafoya and his fellow priests as concelebrants. Both services will be held at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, 11th & Grand Ave. Interment, Roselawn Cemetery. Those who desire may make memorials to the Clergy Benefit Society of Pueblo through Montgomery & Steward Funeral Directors, 1317 N. Main St., Pueblo, CO 81003. Online condolences, www.montgomerysteward.com

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  1. I was gathering a group of old friends from Christ the King together and I heard only today of your passing, Bill. I am deeply sorry you suffered and I send my love and condolences to your family. You always had a smile on your face and were a shy and quiet young man in elelmentary school. I know God is glad to welcome you home. Rest in Peace my old friend.

  2. Dear Fr. Bill’s Family,
    My sincere condolences to you. Fr.Bill a great person and caring priest. Now, he is blessing us from heaven. Fr. Arturo

  3. Father Bill and I were coffee-drinking, golfing, jogging buddies back 27 years ago at St. Mary’s in Walsenburg. Bill had a kind heart, was a good listener and had the empathetic touch that made him a good priest and a friend to so many. We never did have that last cup of coffee last year, but you will always be remembered by those left behind. I have no doubt that Jesus welcomed you into heaven with the words, “Well done my good and faithful servant!”

  4. I/We were good friends of Father Bill we got to know when he was assigned to the Parish here in Cortez Co.
    Father Bill and I enjoyed fishing,cross country skiing,aand hiking.Father Bill had a very special place that he liked to hike more than any other the area is known as Bear Creek nort of Dolores Co. The stream,Mountains the trees and flowers were Exceptionally beautiful.
    We will miss Father Bill but I’m sure He is in a place just as beautiful.

  5. I met Fr. Bill when I was an Associate Pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Farmington, NM, up in the Four Corners. I also was impressed with his kindness and gentleness. I hope and pray those qualities rub off on us priests who remain. Fr. Bill, pray for us! May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

  6. Father Bill Is the person who gsve me the inspiration and blessings back to the path of righteousness for me and my family, I miss you father Bill

  7. Father Bill was such a kind, humble man. The compassion he had for people (especially those grieving) was remarkable. He was a good man.

    My husband and I and our friends will always have fond memories of Father Bill joining us for FAC many Friday evenings. He even hosted us more than once! He will be missed.

    Our hearts go out to you,

    Judy and Laddie Livingston

  8. It’s been an honor to have you, Fr. Bill as a part of my life even though parts of the road were smooth and bumpy. God bless you.

  9. My sincerest condolences on the passing of your beloved relative, pastor, and friend Fr. Bill nelson. I attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corners, WI with Fr. Bill. I was two classes behind him. He was a good friend. Caring, compassionate, understanding, funny, sincere, dedicated and well loved by his seminary classmates.
    I know Fr. Bill had some rough times in the past number of years; but he always seemed to spring back and remain solid and dedicated to his ministries. I am sorry that I have just heard about his passing. Please know that Fr. Bill and all of you will remain in my prayers and Masses as time goes on.
    May God welcome Fr. Bill into His heavenly home and at the Banquet table of Our Lord.
    Rest in Peace my dear friend and brother.
    Prayers and Masses will also be offereed by Rev. Msgr. Arthur MacDonald as well.
    Sincerely in Christ and Mary,
    Fr. Bill Day

  10. To our loving friend and Padre. May our lord keep you safe in his hands until we meet again some day. With love the Valdez Family

  11. Our condolences go out to the family. He came down to Monte Vista and baptized our son in 2006. Rest in peace Father Bill. AKA: Uncle Bill and El Padre. We love you! The Valdez Family

  12. Bodie, I know you are with God, but it doesn’t make it any easier. I feel your loss and miss you so much. I am so happy I was able to be with you. Your last journey was not long, but you taught me so much. I love you. Joni

  13. When we married in Aguilar in 1983 Father Bill was our priest. We were one of the first weddings he did after coming to the Walsenburg parish as a new priest. He was so nice. Rest in Peace Father Bill

  14. we send our sincere condolences to Father Bill’s family he was truly a gift from heaven, helping us though our time with my sister battle with cancer, he was alway there to comfort, and just to talk, and even when she a pass away he still keep in touch to see how we were doing, he will be missed God Bless

  15. we send our sincere condolences to Father Bill’s family and are so thankful for the time we had with him and Gypsy.

  16. Thanks God to let us know a person like Fr. Wiliam, a person who really cared his community.
    God bless you father, be in peace
    you always will be in our prayers. Thank you so much for all what you did for us.

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