Donald Orrin Nelson
September 24, 1942 – May 9, 2020
Donald Orrin Nelson 9/24/42 – 5/9/20
Donald Orrin Nelson, 77, passed away on May 9, 2020, from the Covid 19 virus. He was born in Chicago on September 24, 1942, to Mary and Arthur Nelson who predeceased him. Don was a long-time resident of Little City in Arlington Heights, having lived there between 1989 and 2019 in their community group home in Hanover Park. Don was known as a meticulous and hard worker in Little City’s vocational program, but his favorite activities were art and music. His happy picture of shoppers toting Pepsi shopping bags was purchased by Pepsi for display in their national headquarters in Chicago. He also loved music and knew the lyrics to all the great 50’s and 60’s hits, which he’d sing on road trips to Kenosha to visit family. Don also loved traveling. As a young man he enjoyed trips to Europe with his parents and later attended Little City’s summer travel camps, taking him on adventures in the United States. He also enjoyed attending Camp Red Leaf and participating in Special Olympics. Many of these experiences he shared with his long-time friend at Little City, Wayne Wimberly. Due to declining health Don had recently moved to Clearbrook in Rolling Meadows where he quickly settled in, singing along with his favorite “oldies but goodies “on his CD player. Don’s family, friends, and staff at Little City and Clearbrook will remember him as a sweet and gentle man who truly enjoyed the best things in life . . . family, friends, music, art, and lunch at Portillo’s. Don is survived by his cousins Joan Portle Abrahamsen of Colorado Springs, CO; Carol Portle Kleemeier (husband Robert) of Atlanta, GA; John Portle (wife Karen) of Boulder, CO; Al Meyer (wife Susan) of Fullerton, CA; and Felicia Arnold (wife of deceased cousin Dick Arnold) of Kenosha, WI.