Richard D. Nelson, 76, of rural Cambridge, passed away Tuesday, November 3, 2020, at OSF St. Francis Medical Center, Peoria, after a short illness. Cremation has been accorded and there will be no services at this time. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at a later date. Stackhouse-Moore Funeral & Cremation Services, Cambridge, is assisting the family with the arrangements. Memorials may be made to the Richard Nelson Memorial Fund.
Richard Dale Nelson was born January 29, 1944 in Kewanee, IL the son of Walter O. and Hazel G. Schumaker Nelson. He was educated in Cambridge schools. Rich played football and excelled in track and field. He graduated from Cambridge High School in 1962 as the salutatorian of the class. He attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for two years and then transferred to Iowa State University where he earned a bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering. His marriage to Virginia Vincent took place on December 28, 1963 in Cambridge.
After college, Rich was employed at John Deere Plow works in Moline until 1970. He was selected to be a team member in the development and patent of a plow system. He then farmed south of Cambridge until 1986. He became a self-employed entrepreneur which allowed him extensive foreign travel. Rich returned to John Deere when he was in his late 60's and worked there until his retirement.
He was an avid reader and continued to educate himself throughout his life. He was a member of the Cambridge United Methodist Church and Valley View Club, Cambridge, serving as club president in 1980.
Those surviving are his wife, Ginny, a daughter and son-in-law, Gina (Rich) Goodwin, Cambridge, sons and daughter-in-law, Chad Nelson, Glendale, AZ, Garret (Xinyi) Nelson, Bettendorf, IA, grandson Blake (Jessica) Banovitz, Lincoln Park, IL. Other survivors include a step-grandson, Max Huang, Bettendorf, IA, two great granddaughters, Kaia, and Tait Banovitz, two brothers and sisters-in-law, Stanley (Sylvia) Nelson, Harlingen, TX, John (Sarah) Nelson, Tucson, AZ, and several nieces and nephews. His parents, and a brother, Glenn Nelson preceded him in death.