Col. Richard E. Nelson III, 72 of Auburn, passed away Saturday, April 23, 2022. A native of Kansas City, MO, Richard was born November 7, 1949 son of the late Richard and Jane Nelson. He was a 1967 graduate of Rockhurst High School and also from the University of Kansas in 1971. Following graduation, he attended the Air Force Officer Training. He returned to Kansas City and flew the C-130 then converted to the A10 “Warthog”Attack Aircraft with the 303 Fighter Squadron and the 442 Fighter Wing. He served as the 303rd Squadron Commander, the 442nd Operations Commander and also Vice Wing Commander. He flew the A-10 in combat missions in Bosnia and retired as a Colonel.
Rick served the Reserve Officers Association (ROA) for many years in many positions. He recently completed two years as the president of the ROA Missouri chapter. During his years with the Air Force reserves, he was a commercial pilot for Braniff Airlines and US Air.
Rick had a passion for antique boats in volunteered for the Skaneateles boat show every summer. He eventually served as the president of the Finger Lakes Chapter Antique and Classic Boat Society. He also loved his Owasco Lake and champion many efforts to improve the water quality of the lake through O. W. L. A.. between these two organizations, he acquired so many great friends.
He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon; his two children, Richard IV and Lily. In addition, he leaves behind siblings Lief (Patti), Kurt (Barbara), Damien (Michelle); and many cherished nieces and nephews.
Rick is now up in his airplane and dancing with the clouds. He will be missed by many.
Friends are invited to join the family for a Mass of Christian Burial to be offered Monday May 2, 2022, at noon in St. Alphonsus Church. Burial with full Military Honors will follow in Lakeview Cemetery, Fleming. Calling hours for Rick will be conducted Sunday from 4 to 8 PM in the White Chapel Funeral Home Inc., 197 South St., Auburn
Contributions may be made in memory of Rick to the ROA Stars Foundation, 1 Constitution Ave NE, Washington DC 20002.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard E. Nelson III, please visit our floral store.