Eden Gooding “Pat” Nelson, 78, of Carmi, died Thursday morning, January 24, 2013, at his home in Carmi.

Eden Gooding "Pat" Nelson, 78, passed away on Thursday, January 24, 2013, at his home in Carmi. Born January 25, 1934 in Wright City, Tx., Pat was the son of the late David Roebuck and Tessie Evalene (Thomas) Nelson, and the grandson of Choctaw original enrollees Eden Gooding and Laura (Ashford) Nelson. He lived a rich, full life, loved dearly by his wife of 53 years, Betty (Fobar) Nelson, and their children Lea Ann Richmond, Jeff Nelson and Steve Nelson.

A son of the Great Generation, Pat was a Christian, a man devoted to family, a Korean War veteran, an entrepreneur, and a Good Samaritan. With deeply spiritual commitment to Christ and a legacy of Christian service that began with his grandfather, Eden Gooding Nelson, Pastor of Antlers Circuit of Choctaw-Chickasaw District, Pat served his Lord as Deacon, Sunday school teacher, and began the first bus ministry in Carmi, bringing children and young adults to church who might never have otherwise been able to attend. And, like his mother, Tessie Nelson, he began each day reading the Bible, having read it, in its entirety, 16 times in the past 23 years.

Pat raised strong children knowing they were loved, that family would always endure as they were together. He was an entrepreneur, a risk-taker with considerable initiative who became a well-known oilman throughout the Midwest. He established The Nelson Company, which grew to include a Pipe Division, Well Plugging Division, Nelson Midwest Contractors, and oil producing entities consisting of Nelson Enterprises, Eden Petroleum and Nelson Development Corporation. Honest, responsible, generous, ethical, hardworking, values of the Great Generation, values Pat passed to a new generation.

Pat is survived by sisters, June Walker and Joe Ann Beeson; brothers, Elwood Nelson and Robert Nelson; sister-in-law Grace Nelson; grandchildren Niki Ballard, Lauren Nelson, Kady Nelson, Evan Nelson, Bethany Nelson, Brandon Farr, Ryan Farr and Kara Engle; great-grandchildren, Ava Ballard, Liam Skelly, Aiden Dugger and Violet Sorg; and 11 nieces and nephews.

Pat was preceded in death by his brother, David Nelson, and nephew, Tom Nelson.

Visitation and funeral are Sunday, January 27, 2013 at Cook Funeral Chapel in Carmi. Visitation is at noon and the funeral is at 2 p.m. Burial with military rites will be in Centerville Cemetery north of Carmi.

More information is available at cookfuneralchapel.com.