Robert James Nelson, 81, of East Moline, went to be with the Lord on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, at UnityPoint Health - Trinity, in Rock Island. A funeral service was at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16 at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory Ltd., in Moline. A visitation was from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 at the funeral home. Burial was at the National Cemetery at the Rock Island Arsenal. Memorials may be made to Living Hope Community Church.

Robert James Nelson, 81, of East Moline, went to be with the Lord on Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, at UnityPoint Health - Trinity, in Rock Island. A funeral service was at 10 a.m. Monday, Oct. 16 at Esterdahl Mortuary & Crematory Ltd., in Moline. A visitation was from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 15 at the funeral home. Burial was at the National Cemetery at the Rock Island Arsenal. Memorials may be made to Living Hope Community Church.

Robert was born Feb. 13, 1936, in Geneseo, the son of Elon and Roberta Monthe Nelson. He married Glenda Marlene Horn on Dec. 1, 1961, in Moline. He graduated from Moline High School and attended Black Hawk College. He worked as a switchman for Rock Island Lines Railroad and was a federal officer for the Rock Island Arsenal, retiring in 1999.

He was a veteran, having proudly served in the United States Air Force. Prior to his service in the military, he played American Leigon semi-pro baseball.

Robert was a member of Living Hope Community Church where he served as a charter member and council member. He was very active in multiple behind-the-scene ways. He was a quiet man, but was known for his dry humor.

Survivors include his wife, Glenda Marlene Nelson; children, Rev. Renee (Dennis) Holm, Dr. Jay (Sharon) Nelson and Mark Nelson; daughter-in-law, Diane Nelson; grandchildren, Phillip (Marci) Nelson, Wayne (Ashley) Holm and David (Chelsea) Nelson; great-grandchildren, Hannah and Kaelyn; sister, Doris Peterson; many nephews, nieces, cousins, in-laws and friends; and cat, Missy. He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Gretchen Pobanz.