Anthony Nelson

Anthony Nelson

Monday, October 13th, 1941 Friday, November 1st, 2019

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Obituary for Anthony Alexis "Papa Bear" Nelson

Anthony Alexis "Papa Bear" Nelson

October 13, 1941 - November 01, 2019

Anthony "Papa Bear" Nelson 78, passed away peacefully at Life Care of Westminster, CO on Friday, November 01, 2019 due to complications concerning long-standing health challenges. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 13, 1941 to Helena Madison and Grady Nelson but grew up in foster care. Papa Bear was very resilient. With his medical issues and growing up in foster care, he still described himself as "the luckiest man I know". Many close friends became his family. A person's smile would warm his heart. He never met a stranger.

Papa Bear was best known as a person who could make a connection with anyone. He would listen, make someone feel at ease and loved and wouldn't hesitate to say he was proud of you. He wasn't afraid to show his emotions with people from all walks of life and he did this as a cab driver for Metro Taxi and later as a vendor near Coors Stadium on the Wynkoop Walkway at Rockies baseball games. He was easily recognized as he navigated the walkway on his motorized mobility scooter, now replacing his Goldwing motorcycle that he used to call his "legs".

Papa Bear has now rounded third base and headed Home. He had a quick wit, could embellish a good story, wrote poetry and prose, was skilled in cribbage and poker, loved jazz and the blues, enjoyed a good debate and shared his insights, wisdom and intuition. He remained positive even in poor health and was considered a legend to all who met him. Papa Bear loved his cats, anyone's dog and children. As a large man, he often commented that small children were not afraid to approach him and extend their arms to him for a bear hug.

He is preceded in death by his parents, an older sister, Juanita, several aunts and uncles, his ex-wife, Carolyn and his loving foster parents John T and Nicholas Spencer. He is survived by his loving Mama Bear, Barbara Jones. She was his loyal advocate and companion for 31 years. He called his Mama Bear "'Bulldog" because she became his voice as his health declined.

Papa Bear is survived by his children; sons Jarrod (Teri) Nelson of Blaine, Minnesota and Gabriel (Kate) Nelson of Belle Plaine, Minnesota, daughter Kirsten Eigenfeld of Nashville, Tennessee and like-a-daughter; Amanda Hutson (Brian) of Castle Rock, Colorado, Vanessa Kelly (Ron Chapel) of Ciudad de Guanajuato, Mexico, Abbey Niver (Gregory) of Arvada, Colorado and Mary Jane Rafferty (Jim) of Amelia Island, Florida. Grandchildren; Jaden, Roman, Naomi, and Taylor Nelson, Nathan Eigenfeld, Morgan, and Hunter Hutson and Teagan and Luke Niver, aunts Dorothy Pickens and Marcia Canaday and nephews Emmanuel White and Emmanuel Madison of Cincinnati, Ohio

A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life will be held at St. James Episcopal Church, 8235 W 44th Ave, Wheat Ridge, CO 80033 on Friday, November 22, 2019 at 2:00 PM. The service will be directed by Rebecca Jones, Priest in Charge, the woman Papa Bear called his 'Sky Pilot". Cremation was provided by Aspen Mortuary of Arvada, CO

In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Colorado State Foster Parent Association (CSFPA) 2497 Fenton St., Edgewater, CO 80214 or or an animal shelter of your choice.

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Service Details

  • Service

    Friday, November 22nd, 2019 | 2:00pm
    St. James Episcopal Church
    8235 W. 44th Avenue
    Wheat Ridge, Colorado
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Friday, November 22nd, 2019
    Reverend Rebecca Jones

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Provide comfort for the family of Anthony Alexis "Papa Bear" Nelson by sending flowers.
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Marcie Dudek

We are sorry to hear of Papa Bear’s passing. He left a stamp on our heart and we will always remember his smile and wisdom that he shared with us during his therapy. Our thoughts and prayers are with all who share our loss.
“Sister Bears”
Lindsey and Marcie
Comment | Posted at 10:38am via Condolence

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