A funeral service will held for Stephen Paul Nelson, 78, at noon Saturday at Avery Missionary Baptist Church in Avery, Texas.
He died Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018.
Nelson was born Dec. 22, 1939, to James Daniel Nelson and Anna Dalke Nelson in Clinton, where he also attended school and graduated in 1959.
He began working at an early age to support his mother and younger siblings after the death of his father, holding down many odd jobs.
He later spent several summers working for the Forest Service as a smoke jumper putting out forest fires, and he also spent time as an apprentice carpenter in southern California.
Nelson was in the U.S. Air Force from 1962 to 1966. He served in Vietnam as a jet engine specialist and mechanic.
He met his future wife, Carol Jean Snow, while stationed at Nellis Air Force Base in Las Vegas, Nev.
Following his military service he worked as a heavy equipment mechanic on off-shore gas and oil production rigs in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Argentina, Panama and Brazil, as well as at several domestic locations.
After retiring Nelson continued working as a school bus driver.
Survivors include his wife; a son, Stephen Paul Nelson Jr. and wife Pam of Antlers; a daughter, Betty Nelson Pollock and husband Troy of Avery, Texas; two granddaughters, Kim Nelson of Antlers and Morgan Pollock of Avery, Texas; two brothers, Jess Nelson and wife Lou of Guymon and Vern Nelson and wife Bebe of Eureka Springs, Ark.; three sisters, Laura Stone of Manteca, Calif., Helen Maloy and husband Raymond of Saulsbury, Tenn., and Dorthy Elliott of Oklahoma City; and many nieces and nephews.