School 29

Gary L. Nelson

February 26, 1944 ~ July 4, 2020 (age 76)


Gary L. Nelson, who loved to dance, sing, and entertain others, danced his way to heaven on July 4, 2020. He was 76 years old.

Gary was born February 26, 1944 in Minneapolis Minnesota to parents Vernon and Viola (Dodds) Nelson. He moved to Madison Wisconsin where he attended East High School. Gary furthered his education at UW Madison and UW Superior, earning a Master’s degree in teaching.

He felt fortunate to find a career that he loved, teaching mathematics to students. He was an excellent teacher, winning many awards including Middle School Teacher of the Year and High School Teacher of the Year. He combined competence with energy, enthusiasm, and humor and was truly a favorite among students. His goal for all of his students was to succeed in math and life.

He was known for his Elvis impersonations in his classrooms and at school talent shows. He performed dance routines for many years at the Edgefest Follies. He was our “greatest showman”.

He is survived by his wife Kathleen (Zimmerman) Nelson, his daughters Renee Gibson, Rebecca (Chris) Gosheff; brother Dennis (Virginia) Nelson; Sister-in-law Mary Ann Nelson, Goddaughter Hanna Josephs, Joel Nelson, Grandchildren Isabel, Charlie, Finn, Audrey, Jake, Olivia, and Nora, many nephews, nieces, cousins, sisters in law, brothers in law, and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents Vernon and Viola Nelson and brother Dale Nelson.

In lieu of flowers, donations are welcome at gofundme:  to go towards the Gary L Nelson scholarship fund and publication of his book. “It All Adds Up”. 

A celebration of Gary’s life will be held at a later date.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gary L. Nelson, please visit our floral store.


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