Dr. Nelson and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Island Lake, Illinois. They have been together for 30 years. Dr. Nelson has two stepchildren (Ben and Becky) and two grandchildren (Andrew and Eddie). He retired from optometry about four years ago. The couple enjoys in-line skating, paddle boarding, kayaking, art, and travel.
Over his storied career, Dr. Nelson spent time in several modes of practice- corporate, private, and as a military optometrist in Thailand during the Vietnam conflict. Many alumni remember Dr. Nelson as their professor. He taught at ICO for 30 years.
Dr. Nelson continues to be impressed with ICO, particularly with today’s Board of Trustees. He feels the group shows “real dedication to superior education and clinical care.” In thanks to his alma mater, he and his wife decided to give back to ICO through the charitable gift annuity program. He says, “I do feel it is a small payback for what optometry and ICO have done for me. I have a wonderful life, really, and a very interesting career.”
Now, Dr. Nelson challenges his colleagues to join him in giving. “Next to meeting my wife, the best thing that ever happened to me was optometry and ICO.” Conrad Stoll, OD ’67, Steve Kasinof, OD ’67, Joe Viviano, OD ’67, and Dr. Nelson are encouraging the Class of 1967 to attend Homecoming to celebrate 50 years as ICO alumni. Says Dr. Nelson, “It doesn’t take long for us to slip back into the friendliness that we found when we were originally all together. The idea that we could all get together 50 years later is pretty special.”
Dr. Nelson and Elizabeth’s generous donation puts them in the prestigious Visionaries Club. The CGA provides them with a monthly income and significant income tax benefits. “It’s a win-win, really, for us and the college.”