Hollis Leroy Nelson, son of Albert and Lillian Nelson, father to Elena and Daniel Nelson and husband to Vasiliki Nelson, died on Friday the 17th of July 2020. Born in Balkan, Kentucky, Hollis was the ninth and last child of a coal miner and a homemaker. His father died suddenly when he was at the tender age of two and he was raised solely by his mother, whom he utterly adored, from then on. Although they struggled for many years, bouncing back and forth around the country and living with several of his siblings, he still spoke very fondly of his mothers’ strength and his upbringing. Having recently graduated from high school and too young to enter the military on his own, his mother signed the papers for him and he set out on a lifelong journey with a smile on his face, twenty dollars in his pocket and Hit The Road Jack playing on the radio. His distinguished Air Force career was highlighted by several decorations, a tour in Vietnam and stints as a cook, radio operator, air crew member and as a club manager. It was as the last that he finished his twenty-five year Air Force career with a most honorable discharge. After a one year hiatus to his beloved Kentucky, his previous position changed to a civilian one and he resumed his service to our country as a civil servant for several years until his second retirement. During his many years of service he had the good fortune to travel to many exotic and far away places including Greece, Turkey and Germany. Shortly after his retirement from service he moved to Greece with his beloved wife and they enjoyed many good years in the sunny Mediterranean. In his later years he and his wife wanted to be close to their daughter and grandchildren, so they moved first to North Carolina for several years and then finally to Arizona. He lived out his last years close to his family and finally died in the arms of his loving wife at home, just as he wished. He will be remembered by those that loved him as an extremely kind person who had an amazing sense of humor and was the most generous of people. His family was the most important thing in the world to him and he went out of his way to make sure that none of them would suffer or want for anything if he had anything to do with it. We have lost the rock that our family revolved around and his presence will be with us forevermore. Dad, you taught us how to be kind to people, you taught us how to be generous with the ones we love and care about, but most importantly, you taught us how to laugh and love each other. We await the time when we can all be reunited, but in the meantime we will keep your spirit alive in our hearts, our stories and our memories of your smile. With all the love in our hearts, we love you.
Vasiliki, Elena, Daniel, Craig, Eric and most of all Gabriel