Joseph Nelson

Joseph Nelson

SAVOY – Joseph "Herb" Nelson, 99, died peacefully at home in Savoy on Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2018.

Herb was born Feb. 2, 1919, to Oscar & Katherine Nelson, in Chicago, where he resided for 72 years before moving to Champaign. He had two brothers, Elmer and the late Carl. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he graduated from Illinois Institute of Technology. He went on to become an architect designing homes in the Chicago area.

Herb was married on Jan. 29, 1944, to the late Myrtle Harms. They were married 58 years. Herb said his greatest legacy was his family. They had three children, Richard (Diane LaBarbera), the late Sally (Paul) Scott and Scott (Alice). His seven grandchildren were Katie (Greg) Smiegel, the late Megan, David (Allie) Scott, Matt (Lisa), Jeff (Kate) Scott, Matt (Kim Eilts) and Andy (Kate). He had nine great-grandchildren, Derek, Adam, Ali, Sally, Martin, Michael, Harper, Ellie and Norelle.

Herb was a firm believer in self improvement (especially for his children, as can be witnessed by their numerous musical, sports, and even elocution lessons). He also believed in this motto for himself. He acquired a midlife interest in exercise which he carried throughout the rest of his life. He began to jog every day. He jogged into his sixties, when he then took up bike riding. One summer he rode over 3,000 miles. He rode his bike into his mid seventies, when he then took up golf. He golfed until his early nineties. His solution for a series of bad rounds was, predictably, another golf lesson. Unfortunately, he was never able to shoot his age on the golf course.

Herb's real passion was his love of gardening. He loved growing (and eating) tomatoes. He was known as "the tomato guy" at the Windsor of Savoy. He left boxes of tomatoes in the hallway for other residents to enjoy. He also grew gladiolus which he cut to adorn the Windsor beauty shop. Herb's garden was constructed with architectural precision and was, of course, weed-free.

The family will greet guests at a visitation from 4 to 6 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, at Morgan Memorial Home, 1304 Regency Drive W., Savoy, IL 61874. A celebration of life will be held at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at Morgan Memorial Home. Interment will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery, Urbana.

In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, contributions can be made to the Make-A-Wish Foundation or the Sally Scott Scholarship Fund at the Decorah Community School District Foundation, 510 Winnebago St., Decorah, IA 52101. Ph (563) 382-4208.

Online condolences and fond memories can be shared with his family at

American Flag