GILEAD — Nelson Owen Smith, 68, of Gilead, died on Friday, Feb. 3.
Nelson was born Dec. 18, 1943, in Lewiston, to Jason G. and Phyllis (Taylor) Smith. He grew up in Bethel and attended Bethel schools. He was athletic and competed as a ski jumper in the Junior National Ski Competition in Ishping, Mich., while in high school. Nelson also had success as an amateur boxer as a young man.
He enjoyed hunting, spending time with his family, having morning coffee and a laugh with his friends.
Nelson was a U.S. Navy veteran, serving on the aircraft carrier, USS Lake Champlain, from 1961 to 1963. He married the former Betty Tyler of Gilead in July 1963. Nelson worked at Gorham Sand and Gravel in Gorham, N.H., and ran the T-bar and chair lifts at Mt. Abram before working for Arthur Head logging.
In the early 1980s, Nelson began Nelson O. Smith Bulldozing and Logging, which he owned and operated until the time of his death. He worked as a certified logging professional throughout the local area. Nelson’s landscaping work was well-respected by those in the community. He took pride in his ability to satisfy his clients.
Nelson is survived by his mother, Phyllis T. Smith of Bethel; his daughter, Stephanie A. and Troy Smith and their son, Jason F. of Rutland, Mass.; his son, Shawn J. Smith and Kelley and their children, Ericson T., Marshall J., Jackson D., Zachary W. Smith, Alexandria and Gaige, all of Lisbon, N.H.; his sister, Phyllis E. Cross of Bethel; brother, Gerald J. Smith of Paris; brother, Larry G. Smith of Bethel; and many nieces, nephews and cousins; his former wife, Betty Smith, of Bethel, who he remained close to and was a caregiver to him recently.
Nelson would have wanted to give special thanks to his niece, Elaine S. (Lainey) Cross, who provided her uncle with hours of care, love, support and laughter in his time of need.
Online condolences may be shared with his family at www.chandlerfunerals.com.