December 12, 1936 – October 25, 2019
Richard Eliot Nelson, 82, a long-time resident of Madison and most recently of Evergreen Woods in North Branford, passed away on October 25th with his family by his side. For more than 57 years he was the loving husband of the late Judith Nelson.
Rick was born in Boston and raised in Belmont, Massachusetts, the second son of Walter and Carolyn Nelson. A 1954 graduate of Belmont High School, he led the basketball team to the state finals played at the old Boston Garden. He subsequently graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Brown University before embarking on a long and successful business career.
Rick began his career at Dun & Bradstreet before becoming a commercial banker in New Haven, spending 25 years at Union Trust and five years at Webster Bank. While at Union Trust, he held a number of senior positions, including leading the bank’s commercial lending activities in the greater New Haven area. Beyond his professional accomplishments, he was extremely proud of his many contributions to the New Haven and Shoreline area through his civic and charitable involvement. At various times he served as: President of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra, Board Member of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Director of the Tennis Foundation of Connecticut, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the New Haven Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Ronald McDonald House of Southern New England, President of the Madison Little League, Board Member of Mercy by the Sea in Madison, and President of the Brown University Club of New Haven.
In addition to his professional career and community service, Rick loved sports both as fan and as a participant. A long-suffering Red Sox fan, he thoroughly enjoyed the recent successes of Boston’s teams. An avid golfer, he was a 30 year member of New Haven Country Club and was an active competitor in recreational softball and basketball into his 40’s. Rick also loved gardening, especially at his summer home in Chatham, Massachusetts
Rick is survived by, and will be dearly missed by, his son Peter and his wife Debbie of Darien, Connecticut, son Mark of Madison, Connecticut and son Jeffrey and his wife Beth of Strafford, New Hampshire. He also leaves behind six grandsons, Tim, Scott, Matt, Adam, Jared and Erik, brother and sister-in-law Wally and Peggy Nelson of Rye, New York, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be held from 5:00 to 7:00pm on Monday November 4th at the Swan Funeral Home of Madison. A Service of Remembrance will be held at Evergreen Woods, 88 Notch Hill Road, North Branford, at 11:00am on Tuesday November 5th. Memorial donations may be made to The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, 70 Audubon Street, New Haven, CT 06150.
- Calling Hours Monday, November 4, 2019
- Celebration of Life Tuesday, November 5, 2019
November 13, 2019
To Rick's Family:
I just learned of Rick's passing and wanted to express my condolences. We have not met but Rick was my first boss at Union Trust in the late 70's for just a couple years. While a tough boss I grew to respect him and admired his capabilities. I also really enjoyed his dry sense of humor and was not surprised that his influence in greater New Haven was felt for many years.
Watching the video with so many pictures of his family and a clear view of Rick's true joys was a special treat. My father Mike was also a New Haven commercial banker who knew and appreciated Rick's contribution to New Haven and would echo me in hoping you all can look back at the happy memories in this time of sorrow.
Wishing you peace,
Carolyn and James Martinelli
November 8, 2019
So sorry to read of the loss of your Dad. He and your Mom were always so nice.
We have many fond memories of the early days in North Madison and our neighborhood.