Dr. Paul Luckey Nelson, retired Concordia pediatrician, died early Saturday morning in Topeka. Paul, the son of Christian Elvin and Pansey Muriel Grubb Nelson, was born in Topeka in April 1927, but moved with his family to Scandia, Kansas while he was still in grade school. He grew up with the freedom of a small- town boy of the 30s and early 40s, hunting and roaming the Republican River valley, participating in school sports and activities. He graduated from Scandia High School in the class of 1945 and left almost immediately for the Great Lakes Naval Training Center, where he graduated from basic training as the A Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. He was assigned to the Pacific Theater and served as a signalman on an LST, repatriating Japanese soldiers.
After discharge from the service, Paul attended Bethany College for a year and then transferred to the University of Kansas where he received his BS degree from the School of Pharmacy in 1951. In 1955 he received his medical degree from KU. He interned at Presbyterian and Denver General Hospitals in Denver, Colorado and came to Concordia as a family practitioner with the Gelvin Haughey Clinic in the fall of 1956.
In 1954 Paul was married to Peggy (Elizabeth Anne) Scott of Topeka. In August of this year they would have celebrated 67 years together.
After 3 years in general practice, Paul did a 2 year residency in pediatrics at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City before returning to the Gelvin Haughey Clinic in Concordia. He served as pediatrician for a wide area of north central and north western Kansas and south western Nebraska. Paul was a Diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and was a former president of the Kansas Chapter of the AAP. He was a member of the leadership committee for the Kansas chapter’s “Turn a Page, Touch a Mind” program to promote literacy among preschool children through early doctor’s office visits. He retired from active medical practice in December 1999.
Paul was a very active member of Concordia First United Methodist Church. He served on many church committees locally and on the United Methodist district and conference level. He was a past president of the Concordia Rotary Club and past governor of Rotary District 5670 of northwest Kansas. He was much involved in Rotary’s commitment to eradicate polio from the world and saw the number of worldwide cases drop to a mere handful. He had hoped to be able to celebrate the last case of polio in the world.
For a dozen years, Paul was part of the trio “Dan, Van, and the Man” as they appeared at events around the area. He also appreciated the opportunity to be a member of the West Central Kansas Community Band, sponsored by the Cloud County Community College.
Paul was the recipient of a number of awards including the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Kansas chapter of American Academy of Pediatrics and the Rotary International Service Above Self Award. He was proud to have been chosen twice as Grand Marshal of Concordia’s Fall Festival parade.
Paul is survived by his wife and three children: Paul Christian Nelson, Newton; Dr. Nancy Taoka, Denver, Co.; and Carol Rudzinski (Mike), Lexington, Ky.; three grandchildren: David Zorob (Esther), Nixa, Mo.; Robert Zorob, Peoria, Il.; and Kristien Zorob, Cookeville, Tn.; and one great-grandchild, Eden Zorob, Nixa, Mo. He is also survived by a sister-in-law, Phyllis Allen, Topeka, and several nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Friday July 16th, 2021 from 1:00pm – 8:00pm with the Family receiving friends from 7:00pm – 8:00pm at Nutter Mortuary, Concordia, KS
Funeral services will be Saturday July 17th, 2021 at 10:00am at The First United Methodist Church, Concordia, KS with Rev. Kibum Kim officiating.
Burial will follow at Riverview Cemetery, Scandia, KS.
Memorials can be made to TAP-TAM of the Kansas Chapter AAP, Rotary International Foundation for Polio Elimination, or the First United Methodist Church of Concordia, Kansas.
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