Raymond Joseph Martin Nelson III was born on October 12, 1943, in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, to Raymond and Eleanor (Porambo) Nelson. He grew up on the family farm in Orwigsburg and moved with his family to Philadelphia when he was 6 years old. He enjoyed natural history and had a variety of pets. He served in the US Army and then attended Colorado College, earning a bachelor’s degree in Botany. He moved to California and then to Spokane, WA, through his work as a pollen specialist with HollisterStier. He then had own his own business, Mac Seeds, selling wildflower seeds.
Ray loved wildflowers, gardens, orchids, cooking, photography, and religious studies, and almost always had a dog as a companion. Each year he especially looked forward to the Easter Feast, which he had grown up enjoying in the Russian Orthodox Church.
He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Carol, his daughters Katie Monsen (Forest) and Andrea Williams (Marc), his grandchildren Chase, Anika, and Evelyn, his stepmother Nancy Nelson, his brothers and sisters Andrew, Susan Johnson, Pete, Patrice McPartland, Melissa Downs, Christopher, Timothy, Jeffrey, Lenore Bernaciak, and Andrea Bley, and many nieces and nephews.
Donations in Ray’s name may be made to St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, 9704 N Division St, Spokane, WA 99218, for stained glass windows for the new sanctuary.
Photo by Ray's dear longtime friend Dave Sam.
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