Rodney “Rod” Ray Nelson, age 73, of Yuma, AZ, passed away on Thursday, September 28, 2023. Rod is survived by his wife of 48 years, Marsha Lee Nelson, who was the love of his life. He is also survived by his children, Taylor R. Nelson (Sheri), Amilia M. Whetten (Denver), Ashlee A. Nicoll (Brian), Tanner B. Nelson (Laura), Amanda K. Tolutau (Tevia), one sister, Judy Butler (Kim), and 18 grandchildren.
Rod grew up in Tucson, AZ and graduated from Palo Verde High School. He served a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Alaska/British Columbia. Upon returning from his mission, he joined the U.S. Army and was stationed for a time at Camp Casey, Korea working as a Legal Clerk/Court Reporter.
After his enlistment, he earned his Bachelor Degrees (Political Science and Social Work),a Masters Degree (Marriage and Family Therapy), and a PhD (Clinical Psychology).
Rod worked professionally as a marriage and family therapist and helped countless clients, friends, family members, and colleagues. He especially enjoyed counseling servicemen and women.
For 28 years, a highlight of his career was teaching Early Childhood Development and Psychology at Arizona Western College.
Rod’s life was a life devoted to service, especially his years serving in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His service included Scout Leader, Young Men’s President, High Councilor, Bishop, and 17 years in the Stake Presidency of the Yuma, Arizona Stake.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, October 7th at 11:00 am, preceded by a viewing at 10:00am at the LDS Church Building 2265 S Hawes Rd, Mesa AZ 85209.
Rod will be laid to rest at Gilbert Memorial Park Cemetery.