Family‚ friends‚ and fellow firefighters all cried as the final call was received on the pagers of the Val Verde County Fire Department. Lt. Larry G. Nelson‚ age 61‚ would no longer answer his call to duty.
Larry was known more for his giving than receiving. He was a man whose strength was only matched by his generosity. The Larry I knew was a good natured person. He had an ease about him that made being around him fun. He wasn’t pushy or a braggart. What you saw was what you got – a salt of the earth kind of a guy that you wanted on your side‚ said Don Ingram‚ publisher of the Andrews County News.
Being a non-compensated fire department‚ everyone in the department has other jobs. Larry worked two weeks on and two weeks off as a consultant in the oil fields of west Texas‚ but when he was home‚ he was dedicated to his beloved fire department 110%. Because of his dedication and tireless efforts‚ he was elected Fire Fighter of the Year in 2007. This was followed by a resolution by the State of Texas House of Representatives recognizing him for his exemplary performance and being an inspiration to others. When the fire department needed something‚ Larry wouldn’t wait three days for a purchase order to be issued. He would just go buy whatever was needed so the department would be ready for the next call.
Larry was a devoted family man. He loved his wife‚ Joyce; son‚ Michael; daughter-in-law‚ Becky; and grandsons‚ Justin and Cade. He loved his three sisters and two brothers. His sisters all stated that Larry was always more concerned about their welfare than his own. The reason we did not receive an acknowledgement from his brothers is that tragically Larry and his two brothers all died within ten days of each other in August 2011. Larry touched many lives in many ways‚ and they all came out better for knowing him. Joyce stated‚ Not a day goes by that I don’t think of my husband‚ friend‚ and fellow firefighter with great respect and love‚ and a yearning to see him one more time‚ because there was no chance to say a final goodbye or to tell him how much I loved and respected him.
Larry was a hero every day to everyone he knew and in the way he lived his life. I invite you to go to YouTube and view the tribute entitled Lt. Larry G. Nelson which was put together by his fellow firefighters. He will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him.