Cover photo for Bruce Nelson's Obituary
Bruce Nelson Profile Photo
1969 Bruce 2022

Bruce Nelson

December 31, 1969 — December 21, 2022

With deepest sorrow, we announce that our beloved husband, father, and grandfather, Bruce Evans Nelson, (61) has passed. After an unexpected and brief fight with cancer, he was called to his Heavenly resting place on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 from his Glenns home.

He shared thirty-eight happy years with his loving wife Terry who gave him two children, Victoria Belcher and Brad. He also leaves behind his son-in-law Andy and two beautiful grandchildren Jessie and Wyatt, sisters Lisa Croxton (Tommy) and Betty Walton (Durwood), Brothers Todd Nelson (Alice) and Paul Willaford (Julie), 6 nieces and nephews, and 4 great nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his father Hughes, mother and stepfather Fay and Christian Willaford, and his nephew Joe.

Bruce enjoyed a wonderful childhood growing up in the close-knit, waterfront community of Remlik. Losing his father at a young age, he was blessed with a father figure in Joe Bristow who treated him as his own, teaching him life skills and influencing the man he would grow to become. Alongside Bruce was a large contingent of boys and girls including his best friend Michael Bristow who remains a brother to this day. He often spoke fondly of all the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches his doting big sister Lisa fixed over the years.

Beginning in elementary school, he attended York Academy where he met life-long friend Ralph Sutton. Bruce graduated from Nashville Auto Diesel College in Tennessee with an automotive and diesel technician diploma and was recruited by Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company. During his tenure, he worked directly on the ships in X43, moved to O43 crane crew, finally ending his 18 year career in the maintenance garage working beside his twin brother Todd. Following his brother eight months later, he was hired by VDOT where he spent the next nearly 25 years helping to keep the equipment fleet operational at the Saluda Residency and touching the lives of his new friends particularly growing fond of Audie Marshall and JJ Burcher. His expertise was highly respected, and he was awarded the 2007 National Technician of the Year by AEMP. Bruce also worked for 31 years for his good friend William Wright spending many evenings and Saturdays in friendly comradery working on the equipment.

Bruce was an active father spending time not only with his own children but unselfishly feeding into the lives of boys and girls in the community. He coached Girls’ Little League Softball for four years with his daughter. He was in scouting as a child until aging out at age 18 and returned to his home Troop 341 as Scoutmaster for three years where he offered opportunities for fun and advancement. He supported his own son Brad and several other young men on their path to Eagle Scout.

On a blind date, Bruce met Terry Bristow who became his devoted and loyal wife. He would often joke about his true love saying ' I married the first woman who would go on a second date with me.' Bruce was blessed to leave his daughter and grandchildren in the loving and secure arms of his son-in-law Andy. Again Bruce’s sense of humor drew him to proclaim that ‘if I had known he was a Ford man, I wouldn’t have consented so quickly.’

Bruce lived by three rules and he often imparted the wisdom to those around him. Number 1 – if it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Number 2 – nothing in life is free. Number 3 – the world is full of stupid people. Bruce was hardworking and a straightforward man of integrity, always willing to help a friend. He deeply loved his family and will be greatly missed.

Visitation for family and friends will be held on Thursday, December 29 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm at Bristow-Faulkner Chapel in Saluda. A graveside funeral service will be held at 11:00 am on Friday, December 30 at Remlik Wesleyan Church Cemetery in Remlik with a reception to follow in the church fellowship hall.

Those who choose to give a gift in honor of Bruce are asked to make a donation in his name to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 4110, Glen Allen, VA 23058 or donate online at
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Bruce Nelson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, December 29, 2022

6:00 - 8:00 pm (Eastern time)

Faulkner Funeral Homes, Bristow-Faulkner Chapel

15 C F Edwards Lane, Saluda, VA 23149

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Friday, December 30, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Remlik Memorial Gardens

775 Flats Road, Urbanna, VA 23175

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