George Irving Nelson, 80, administrator for SSA

April 26, 2005

George Irving Nelson, a retired Social Security administrator, died of congestive heart failure Friday at his Mount Vernon home. He was 80.

Born and raised in Chicago, he served as an Army infantryman during World War II and was wounded near Aachen, Germany. He was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

After the war, he earned a bachelor's degree at the University of Redlands in Redlands, Calif. He drove the only car he ever owned from California to Chicago, where he began working for the Social Security Administration. Family members said he stopped driving nearly 50 years ago and rode public transit or walked.

He moved to Baltimore in 1960 and remained at Social Security's Woodlawn headquarters until retiring 15 years ago from its disability division.

A member of the Parkville Veterans of Foreign Wars post and Disabled American Veterans, he was a volunteer at veterans hospitals in Northwood and in downtown Baltimore.

He enjoyed hiking in Anne Arundel County's Downs Park and on the Appalachian and Baltimore & Annapolis trails.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday at Mount Vernon Place United Methodist Church, Charles Street and Mount Vernon Place, where he was a tour guide and trustee.

Surviving are 16 nieces and nephews, including Mary Lou Kitchner of Glen Burnie, and 50 grandnieces and grandnephews.

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