October 17, 2023

John Eric Nelson

John Eric Nelson of Lincoln, Nebraska, a devoted husband, loving father, and cherished grandfather, passed away on October 15, 2023. He was born on May 8, 1943, in Bell, California, to his parents, Sven and Martha Nelson.

John was a man of remarkable dedication and a life filled with service. His journey began in 1961 when he joined the United States Air Force, serving with distinction in the Strategic Air Command (SAC) and as a member of the K-9 Corps. It was during these years that John’s lifelong commitment to safeguarding the community started to take shape.

From 1965 to 1973, John continued to serve the public as a member of the Lincoln Police Department. His contributions extended to the Motorcycle Corps and as a Traffic Sergeant within the LPD. In 1973, he transitioned to the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office, where he continued his unwavering commitment to upholding the law for another 15 years. It was within the hallowed halls of law enforcement that John’s dedication was recognized when he was named Fraternal Order of the Eagles Police Officer of the Year in 1984.

John was not only a protector of the law but also a faithful servant of his faith. As a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus, he held various roles, including Grand Knight, Faithful Navigator, State Membership Director, State Church Director, and State District Deputy. He was awarded the District Deputy of the Year in 2005-2006, a testament to his unwavering commitment to his community and faith.

On October 25, 1974, John married the love of his life, Patricia Nelson (Maugeri), and together, they built a beautiful family. John and Patricia became parents to three wonderful children: Kirk in 1967, Tiffini in 1974, and Jeremy in 1976. The love and bond they shared were a testament to the enduring strength of their marriage.

While his service was admirable, John’s interests and passions extended far beyond the uniform. He was an adventurer who reveled in the great outdoors, finding solace in hunting, fishing, and golf. He had a green thumb, tending to his garden with care, and embraced the camaraderie of the senior center. John shared a sweet tooth and was known for his stubborn yet endearing personality. He and his beloved Patricia embarked on countless adventures together, exploring the world, hand in hand. John was a man of faith, devoted to his Catholic beliefs, and took pride in his service as a Veteran and as a storm (tornado) spotter. Above all, he was a loving and devoted husband, father, and grandfather.

John is survived by his loving wife Patricia Nelson, his son Kirk, and Kirk’s wife Erin, along with their children, Kian and Kade. He is also survived by his daughter Tiffini and her partner Cassie, and their children Vincent, Jacqueline, and Mack, and his son Jeremy.

Visitation will be held on Friday, October 20, 2023, from 5 pm to 8 pm, with a rosary at 7 pm, at Wyuka Funeral Home in Lincoln, Nebraska. A Funeral Mass to celebrate John’s life will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2023, at 10 am, at St. John the Apostle Catholic Church in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Memorials may be directed to St. John the Apostle Catholic Church, a place that held a special significance in John’s heart.

John Eric Nelson leaves behind a legacy of service, love, and faith, and his memory will forever be cherished in the hearts of all those who had the privilege of knowing him.


  1. I met John when he was a deputy. He was a great person to have in the hospital during difficult times. He created last legacies at St. John’s Church. Thank you John! God bless you and keep you.

  2. You will be so deeply missed dad, you were the man that basically taught me everything I know. I’ll love you always and hope to always make you proud. Your daughter, Tif

  3. John was an absolute sweetheart. Adopted the kind nickname of Pop’s at the senior center where you were dearly loved by all. God’s speed and rest in peace dear friend. 🙏🏼💖

    • Pat, I just found out about John’s death. I am so sorry to hear the news. I wish I would have saw him before he passed. You are in my thoughts and prayers. How are Tif and Jeremy? I think of you often! I would love to see you. John held a special place in my heart!!❤️

  4. Chuck and I both had the pleasure of knowing John through family gatherings, he was a wonderful man and will be greatly missed. God bless you and keep you always John.


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