Royce B. Nelson

PALERMO – Royce B. Nelson, 87, of North Palermo Road, took his last breath on December 4, 2020 at Maine Veterans Home after suffering a stroke. Born in Palermo, Maine on April 6, 1933, he was the son of Jasper Nelson and Edith Nelson and the oldest of four children.

After graduating from Erskine Academy, he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he was stationed in North Carolina before volunteering to serve overseas in Korea. When he completed his military service, he returned home to Palermo and purchased his first Ford dump truck. He was a lifelong Ford owner and remained steadfast on the brand. He would go on to own a small fleet of trucks hiring drivers and contracting with Blue Rock Industries and others to help pave many roads throughout the state. Later he was elected to serve as Road Commissioner in Palermo, with responsibility for maintaining and repairing the roads.

In 1963 he married his wife of 57 years, Jeannine. Together they built their home where they raised four children. He took pride in seeing his own livestock of Black Angus born and bred on his 300-acre farm he named Pond View Farms. In addition to owning over a hundred head of cattle, the farm was also the home to horses, pigs, chickens and his beloved German Shepherd, Duchess. It was a true labor of love for him.

Although he never fully retired from farming in his later years, he did take some time away from it, and he enjoyed camping and spending time with his children and grandchildren. As the years passed, he would eventually be diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. His progression was blessedly slow and although Alzheimer’s eventually took from him his independence and his memory, it left his gregarious, funny and gentle personality fully intact. An honorable, self-made man with his own special brand of humor, he was well liked and always respected by all who met him.

His family will be forever grateful for the outstanding care he received at the Togus VA hospital and the Maine Veterans Home in Augusta where he spent the last 18 months of his life. The last eight months have been especially hard but his family is so grateful for the care and love his MVH family provided when they could no longer be there because of COVID restrictions.

Surviving is his wife, Jeannine Nelson of Palermo; two sons: Todd Nelson and his wife, Tina and Troy Nelson and his wife, Angie, both of Palermo; two daughters: Tammy Leeman and her husband David of Newcastle, and Tracy Cardelli of South Portland; six grandchildren: Jessica, Scott, Cody, Jenna, Alicia and Royce; and two great grandchildren: Brady and Olivia.

He was predeceased by his parents, two sisters, Jackie Nelson and Phyllis Draiss, and a brother, Keith Nelson and his son-in-law, Stephen Cardelli.

As he would have wanted, to keep everyone safe, there are no planned public visiting hours. A graveside service and military honors, with CDC restrictions, will be held at 1 p.m., Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020, at Maine Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 163 Mt. Vernon Road, Augusta.

Condolences, stories and photos may be shared at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association Maine Chapter,

383 US Route One, Suite 2C,

Scarborough, ME 04074.

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