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Jerry William Nelson, 93

Posted on Friday, June 7, 2024 at 3:30 pm

Jerry William Nelson, age 93, of Cowan, passed away on Thursday, June 6, at his residence surrounded by his loving family. He was born on June 5, 1931, in Jasper, to the late Clifford and Ethel Howard Nelson. He was a member of the Cowan Church of Christ and was a US Army Veteran.  Jerry grew up with a love for music, playing in a band at the age of 16.

When he was deployed to Germany, he was a member of a band called The Rhythm Rangers. After returning home from the military, he started a career as a DJ, working at numerous radio stations in Alabama and Tennessee.  Including the local radio stations of Franklin County, WCDT and WZYX. Jerry also hosted a radio show on WSM in Nashville and gave him the opportunity to interview numerous country music artists which led him to an opportunity to be an announcer at the Grand Ole Opry. In 1965, he recorded his first single, “Easy Come Easy Go”, with DOT Records and multiple singles to follow with one featuring Ringo Starr on the drums.

After his recording career, he owned WVSV in Stevenson, Alabama and WEPG in South Pittsburg, which is where he had his first DJ job. After retirement, he enjoyed playing and singing music for his family, especially his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Jerry was a kind, loving Christian man with a heart of gold. He was devoted to his family, and never would want anyone to go without. He always treated everyone with respect and never met a stranger.

In addition, to his parents he is preceded in death by his brothers, Chuck Nelson, Clifford Nelson, Jr.; sisters, Frances Casteel; and great grandson, DaKota Holt; son-in-law, Drexal T. Holt. He is survived by his loving wife of 73 years, Betty Kilgore Nelson; children, Arnold Nelson (Angie), Darrel Nelson (Tina), Dennie Nelson (Susan), Debbie Matthews (Jeff), Angela Holt; ten grandchildren, Heather Derryberry, Heath Nelson, Adam Nelson, Eric Nelson, Ryan Nelson, Jeffery Matthews, Tonya Allen, Stephen Matthews, Chad Holt, and Jason Holt; 23 great grandchildren; 3 great-great grandchildren; brother, Tommy Nelson; sister, Margaret Bolton.

Visitation with the family will take place on Monday, June 10, from 12 p.m. until 2 p.m. at Cowan Church of Christ. Funeral services will follow at the church at 2 p.m. with Bro. David Sudhoff and Dan Jones officiating. Interment to immediately follow in Cowan Montgomery Cemetery.

Watson Funeral Home & Memorial Park, 405 Sharp Springs Road, Winchester, TN 37398, (931) 967-2345,

The Marion Tribune – June 13, 2024