Henry B. Nelson, lovingly known as “Jock” was born in Camden, South Carolina to the late James Nelson and the late Rosa Richardson Nelson. He was one of 19 children. He transitioned peacefully on Saturday morning, April 24, 2021 at his daughter’s home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, surrounded by his family.
He received his formal education in the Kershaw County, SC public school system. As a young man, he moved to Scotch Plains, New Jersey and then moved to Paterson, New Jersey where he met and married the love of his life, Vernell Belton. This union was blessed with their beautiful daughter, Abigail Lanell Nelson Howard.
During his childhood, Henry joined Saint Matthew Methodist Church. Upon moving to Paterson, NJ, he became a member of Second Baptist Church and served as an Usher. After retiring, he returned to Camden, SC and joined Oak Ridge Baptist Church, where he served as a Trustee and sang in the Choir. His favorite songs were: Jordan River and I’m Gonna Rise. When illness came upon him, he and his wife relocated to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to live with their daughter. They united with Solid Rock Missionary Baptist Church in Harrisburg as Watchcare members.
Henry was employed at White’s Construction Company for over 40 years before retiring. He was also a co-owner of Nelson Brothers Construction and then R&H Construction. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing cards, bowling in multiple leagues, playing baseball with the Paterson Black Sox (#45), fishing and gardening. He took great pride in sharing his watermelons and other items from his garden with many neighbors and friends. Most of all, he was known for being quite a jokester.
In addition to his parents, Henry was preceded in death by his siblings: Mary Nelson, James Nelson, Robert Nelson, Mike “Dobe” Nelson, Sarah Henderson, Mahalia “Freda” Nelson, Hattie Stewart, Charles Nelson, Sophie Austin, Isaac Nelson, George Nelson, Johnnie “Peewee” Nelson, Rosa Lee “Manda” Harden, Louise “Lou” Allen and Richard Nelson.
He leaves to cherish precious memories, his loving and devoted wife of 64 years, Vernell Belton Nelson; his daughter, Abigail Nelson Howard, his son-in-law, Walter Howard; his grandchildren, Nile Jordan Howard and Nia Joy Howard, all of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; his sisters, Alberta “Berta” Scott and Janie “Rick” Nelson, both of Plainfield, New Jersey and Gertrude “Gert” Nelson of Greenville, South Carolina; his extended family member Estelle Howard; his godchildren, Frank and Mickey Clarkson of Camden, South Carolina and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
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