Norman Travers Nelson, Steel Executive

August 04, 2009|By Jacques Kelly

Norman Travers Nelson, a retired Bethlehem Steel executive and World War II veteran, died of a heart ailment July 17 at his summer home in Isle au Haut, Maine. The Cockeysville resident was 88.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Elsinor Avenue, he was a 1938 graduate of Polytechnic Institute and earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University. He began work at Bethlehem Steel's rod and wire mill in Sparrows Point. He served in the Navy aboard a tank landing ship in the South Pacific during World War II.

After the war, he became the rod and wire mill's superintendent, retiring in 1982.

"When walking through the mill, not only did the thousand or so workers greet him by name, but he also knew their names," said his son, Travers Coates Nelson of Baltimore.

Known as Travers, he was a past president of the Guilford Association and was a member of Brown Memorial Park Avenue Church and later Brown Memorial Woodbrook Presbyterian Church, where he was clerk of the session. He was also a volunteer tutor of city schoolchildren and a member of the Elkridge Club.

After he retired to Broadmead Center, he became head of the wood shop.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 15 at Broadmead, 13802 York Road, Cockeysville.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of 63 years, the former Marjorie Demarest; another son, David Crane Nelson of Westport, Conn.; two daughters, Elizabeth Campbell Nelson of Brunswick, Maine, and Anne Nelson Apgar of Baltimore; and eight grandchildren.

- Jacques Kelly

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