George D. Nelson, Sr., Longtime Chairman of Centenary Board of Trustees, Dies at Age 86
SHREVEPORT, LA -- The Centenary College community is mourning the death of George Dalman Nelson, Sr., chairman of the Centenary Board of Trustees for 30 years before assuming emeritus status in 1995. He died Monday, Jan. 5, 2004, at age 86.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, January 8, and a memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Jan. 9, both at First United Methodist Church in Shreveport. Arrangements are under the direction of the Rose-Neath Funeral Home.
Mr. Nelson, who received an honorary doctorate from Centenary in 1994, was a leader in church, business and civic affairs for more than six decades. He participated in the college's quarterly board meeting as recently as October 2003.
He began his service at Centenary upon appointment as a trustee in 1957, becoming chairman of the board in 1965. His three decades as chairman marked one of the longest known tenures of a college chairman in the United States. During his chairmanship, the college experienced a major building campaign, weathered social and philosophical issues, and increased its endowment sevenfold.
When, in 1995, he stepped down as chairman, the City of Shreveport observed “George D. Nelson, Sr., Day” in his honor, citing his “remarkable abilities as mediator and advocate” and his role in helping the college achieve national acclaim.
A member of the board of the First United Methodist Church in Shreveport, Dr. Nelson served on every major committee of the local church and the Louisiana Conference and was a member of the Investment Committee of the First United Methodist Foundation.
Professionally, Dr. Nelson was president and managing director of Querbes & Nelson, Inc., a regional insurance agency founded in 1914, and president of the Life Insurance Company of Louisiana, which he founded in 1964. He was a longtime member and twice president (1969 and 1970) of the Council for A Better Louisiana. He also served in leadership roles with Louisiana Companies, Inc.; the Alternate View Network; Willis-Knighton Medical Center; Hearts for Life Foundation; the Institute of International Education, and the Louisiana Partnership for Technology and Innovation.
For his many business and civic activities, he received Shreveport’s Clyde E. Fant Award for Community Service in 1973.
Dr. Nelson was preceded in death by his wife, Nell Carolyn Querbes Nelson, who died January 5, 2002. They are survived by a son, George Dalman Nelson, Jr., and wife Clare Morgan Nelson; daughter, Carolyn Querbes Nelson and husband Carl Liberto; and four grandchildren, George Dalman Nelson III, Catherine Tucker Nelson, Carolyn Morgan Nelson and Spencer Reynolds Nelson, all of Shreveport.
In appreciation for Dr. Nelson’s great service to the college, Centenary maintains two scholarships in his honor. Memorials may be made in his name at Centenary College, 2911 Centenary Blvd., Shreveport, LA, 71104.
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