PORTLAND — David D. Nelson Sr., 71, of Farmington, died early evening Tuesday, May 3, at the Maine Medical Center.

He was born Aug. 28, 1939, in Charleston, W.Va., a son of James and Beulah (Dunbar) Nelson. He attended schools in West Virginia and Ohio.

A retired U.S. Navy veteran, David enlisted in the Navy in 1956, and served during Vietnam. He served throughout the world aboard four different ships including the USS Wasp, the USS Independence, the USS Forrestall and the USS Saratoga. He was also was stationed throughout the United States including the Brunswick Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, N.J., Jacksonville, Fla., and Portsmouth, N.H. His favorite duty of his career was as an instructor at the SERE School in Rangeley.

He was married to Ardith Rollins on Aug. 28, 1959 in Brunswick. She traveled with her husband until they settled in Farmington, where he became a CNA and Med-Tech working in Farmington’s local nursing homes.

He was a member of the Farmington American Legion and Church of Christ in Augusta. His hobbies included leather work, hunting, fishing, making dream catchers, “trying” to learn to play the guitar, reading, and serving as the resident “candy man” at church. He loved music, including country western and 1950s oldies, and singing.

David is survived by his wife, Ardith Nelson of Farmington; children, David Nelson Jr. and his wife, Marsha, of Farmington, Dennis Nelson and his wife, Cathy, of Plant City, Fla., Darryl Nelson and his wife, Helga, of Bowling Green, Ky., Carrie Scott of Farmington and Paul Nelson of Farmington; a brother, James Max Nelson and his wife, Gail, of Florida; 17 grandchilden; and 14 great-grandchildren.

He was predeceased by a daughter, Terry Nelson.

Words of condolence and tribute may be shared with his family at www.wilesrc.com.