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McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes
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NELSON, John Stephen

John Stephen Nelson, after 94 full years of living, passed on in his sleep on December 25, 2015.

John was born June 24, 1921 in Regina, SK to Andrew and Elizabeth. He was the last of the Nelson Clan. He joined the RCMP during World War II and was stationed in Halifax where he met Carol. He loved the force however, at that time, officers had to serve seven years before being allowed to marry. Carol won out and John left the force to marry Carol on October 2, 1945.

Over the years he served as a Manufacturer’s Agent for a number of companies but the one he loved the most was his 53 years as District Sales Manager for Schulmerich Carillon. He had a great passion for handbells and carillons and is considered to be the “Father of Handbell Ringing” in Canada helping to establish the Alberta Guild of Handbell Ringing and formed many other guilds throughout Canada. He retired at 89 after winning “salesman of the year!”

John leaves behind his loving wife of 70 years Carol; two sons John (Debby) and Gary (Carla); four grandchildren Stacy (Phil), Rob (Nicole), Becky (Chris), and David; and six great grandchildren- Jaeleigh, Garrett, Katjana, Malcolm, Annika and Carter. He was predeceased by his twin sister Agnes, Margaret, Elizabeth and Henry.

A Celebration of John’s Life and Faith will be held at First Baptist Church (1311 – 4th Street S.W.) where John and Carol have been faithful members for over 64 years on Saturday, January 2, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. The service will be led by Dr. Doug Moffatt, their former pastor. Condolences may be forwarded through If friends or family so desire donations may be made to the John and Carol Nelson Carillon Fund at Tyndale University College & Seminary in Toronto or the Handbell Ministry of First Baptist Church, Calgary.

In living memory of John Nelson, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Park Memorial, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

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Condolence Messages

  1. So sorry for the loss of John Sr. His legacy will always be remembered

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  2. Carol, John& Debby, Gary & Carla:
    It is with sadness and many fond memories to celebrate that we received the news of John’s passing through to the next season of his journey with Christ. I always appreciated him, his good humor in the times time we connected through our years in Calgary at both BLTS and FBC. He and Carol were always very supportive for us during our years of ministry at FBC. What a wonderful legacy of years for you as a family and his many friends. Blessings and Peace to you all.
    Paul & Patsy Pearce

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  3. Stewart & Winnie Colburne

    Carol, we are sorry to hear of John’s passing. We have greatly enjoyed your and John’s friendship over the years especially during those times when we were struggling with Winnie’s heart problems. It was during those times that your and John’s upbeat approach to life made my day every Thursday when we had so much fun at Bell Choir practice. John was always there ready to offer advice and make repairs. And the hospitality in your home with as John put it the help of “M & M. The two of you have been an example to the rest of us with 70 years of marriage. Winnie and I have a way to go hitting only the 50 mark in October of 2015. Winnie also celebrated the 15th anniversary of receiving her new heart in June of 2015.
    You are missing John as are all of us who have had the priviledge of knowing him. We know that God’s strength and love is with you.
    Winnie & Stewart

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  4. Dear Mrs Nelson,
    My Heartfelt condolence with the loss of your Husband John. I got to know him early 2000 when the Dutch Canadian Business Club in Calgary planned the purchase of a new carillon for the Calgary tower. During this process I had frequent meetings with John, got his advise on what we needed. He was an amazing man with great knowledge about this wonderful instrument, which as you know is still playing daily its beautiful music over the City. I had planned to be at the funeral service to-day but was unable to find a parking space near the church, this shows how respected John was by many people.
    May God uphold you in this difficult time.
    Bill Janson Ex member of the Carillon committee from the DCBC.

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