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Carl Keith Nelson, 86, of Shelby, passed away April 14, 2018 at the Marias Care Center. Carl was born on February 15, 1932 in Whitlash, MT. He served in the US Army from 1952 to 1954 and was stationed near Las Vegas, Nevada at the Nuclear Testing Site. Carl told us they would often be called out in the middle of the night to move to the trenches closer to the testing. When the bombs went off, they could see and feel the earth rolling around them.
Returning to Shelby, Carl work several different jobs; driving for Greenup trucking company and working at the Toole county shop as a diesel mechanic until retirement.
He loved classic cars and military airplanes and attended shows every opportunity he could. Carl enjoyed spending time with his buddies and was always up for shooting pool, throwing horse shoes or playing pitch. His favorite pitch partner was his wife Donna. Together they made many trips to Great Falls for Donna’s dialysis as Carl took care of her in her failing health until she passed away on August 28, 2006. After that Carl and his cherished companion and pal Pearl became infamous all-around Shelby with her barking and his bragging about her.
What really brought a smile to his face were little kids and dogs. He would play with either or both for hours. He loved seeing his girls and their children and always looked forward to these times. Carl had some best buddies he dearly loved (who preceded him in death) and shared hundreds of stories about them to his step-daughter Jane and his granddaughter Jorey or anyone who would listen until the day he passed away. He had 8 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren.
Carl is survived by his daughters, Georgie Huerta and her daughter Chloie; Sheila Marquardt (husband Ron – deceased) and their children, Elaina (Jake) their children, Kaylee, Brynlee and Joey; Erika (Jeff); Martina, Nicholas, Veronica, and John all of Polson, as well as Donna’s children; Glenn (Janet) and their children, Amanda and Janson, all of Illinois; Jane of Shelby and her daughter Jorey of Circle; and Jean (Andy) of Helena.
He is also survived by his brothers, Richie of California and Philip of Idaho and their spouses and children; his sister Grace Hardin of Great Falls and her children as well as Vicki Stevenson, her step-daughter and caretaker, of Ulm.
Carl was preceded in death by his wife Donna and her son Greg; his brothers, Alvin Jr. and Gary, his parents, Alvin and Mary Nelson.
Condolences may be shared to the family at Croxford Funeral Home of Great Falls at www.croxfordfuneralhome.com
Jane Nesbo Garsjo (step-daughter/Donna's daughter)