Gerald Nelson, 1928-2015

Published 10:00 am Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Gerald E. Nelson was born May 20, 1928, in Freeborn and died Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015, in Madera, California, after a short illness.

He is survived by his two sons, Walt and Tim; Tim’s wife, Robyn; grandson, Trevin, with his wife, Cristhian, and great-grandson, Trace; granddaughter, Agatha, with her husband, Mike Jamison, and great-grandson, Jax. He also leaves his best friend and travelling companion, Orfie Sciacqua; and four nieces and nephews.

Gerald Nelson

Gerald Nelson

Gerald served in the United States Army. After being released in 1950 he married Dorothy Sheffield. They farmed in the Ripperdan area of Madera County and in Kerman until her death in 2004. Gerald was one of the early developers of methods to dry raisins with reduced hand labor. Today, many of the operations he began are used in the raisin industry. He was on the Sun-Maid Raisin board for much of the 80s and early 90s, on the Production Credit Association board of directors and a member of Rotary in Kerman.

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One of his greatest and most dedicated accomplishments was the 24/7 care for his wife during her extended illness. He tirelessly cared for her for over 10years.

A graveside service will be at 11 a.m. Friday at Arbor Vitae Cemetery in Madera. A memorial service will follow at 1 p.m. Friday at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church, 2101 N. Fruit Ave.,  Fresno, CA 93705.

As an expression of sympathy, memorial contributions may be sent to Our Saviour’s  Lutheran Church or the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation.

Funeral Arrangements under the direction of Jay Chapel in Madera, California where condolence messages may be left at