Mountains
Official Obituary of

Gustave (Gus) A. Nelson

December 25, 1944 ~ February 23, 2024 (age 79) 79 Years Old

Gustave (Gus) Nelson Obituary

We mourn the passing of Gustave “Gus” Alfred Nelson, 79, of Rupert Idaho on February 23,2024.

He passed peacefully at home surrounded by the love of his life, Donna, and his children.

Gus was born in Ipswich, Suffolk, England to Darcy and Norah Nelson. He was brought to the United States as an infant. Traveling with his mother, Norah on the Queen Mary then by train to arrive in Idaho. He grew up on the family farm just north of Rupert. Gus discovered his love for speed in his teenage years on the stock car speedway!  He raced stock cars and learned the art of being a mechanic.  He had a passion for all mechanical things. If it had an engine, Gus found ways to get it to go faster. Snowmobiles, boats, motorcycles, ATVs, cars, even non-motorized vehicles fell under the maxim of “it can go faster”. From a pine wood derby car to a canoe nicknamed “Predator”, he coaxed speed out of them!

Gus worked hard but played harder! His passion for jet boats was the best! It was not just a matter of how fast the boat was, but also how high the rooster tail behind the boat got! It was how many skiers he could pull at once, and how many G’s us kids pulled while holding on for dear life on water tubes!  It was a wild ride behind Gus’s jet boat! We learned that life is meant to be lived with just a touch of madness and daringness!

There were no obstacles in Gus's life, only problems that needed to be fixed, sometimes finding ingenious ways to get the job done. Too cold to work on a motor outside? Bring the engine in and put it on the dining room table! Log blocking the mountain road?  Terrify your passengers by driving up the scarily steep slope around it!

It was this innate problem-solving ability that earned Gus the well-deserved nickname of "Gyver". Given to him by his friends and co-workers at Amalgamated Sugar, he had the ability to produce brilliant adaptations to fix everything and anything! His work family was such a source of pride and genuine friendship. He was immensely proud to be a part of that team! He retired as a Master Mechanic in 2013, after 40 years of service. The retirement party was one of his best memories! We loved hearing his work stories and his co-workers’ anecdotes about Gyver!

The only time Gus was not going fast was when he was reading. This was a lifelong hobby and the number of books read is well into the hundreds! He was unintentionally a speedy reader!

Family memories were made on camping & snowmobile trips, ATV rides in the mountains. Fishing at Big Smokey in the rain & snow. Snowmobiling, even in the summer on a flooded lawn! Teaching us how to water ski behind a pickup truck in the canals! We learned to play Pinochle with the best of them! Gus loved a good poker game with his kids and grandkids, and we could always count on him to take the bitch hand! Countless memories of how he made life seem like an adventure! His mischievous twinkling blue eyes always seemed to either dare you to go a step further or faster, cause what the hell, let’s find out!

Gus was married to Gail Wilson in 1962 and although this union was not permanent, they shared five children together. Troy (Rhonda) Nelson, Diane Nelson (Adam Christensen), David (Stephanie) Nelson, Tonia (David) Fenton, Marcy (Perry) Knopp.

Gus married Donna in August 1992, and with her children Robert (Amy) Davis, Kristen (Jesse) Cantu, and Casey (Jacoby) O'Connell they melded two families into one. Donna was the love of Gus’s life. Her unwavering support, especially in the last few years gave dad the strength to keep going. His love for her was evidenced by the way his face would light up whenever she was around!

Gus has 20 grandchildren, 30 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

He is also survived by his siblings, Teresa Nelson, and William (Billy) Nelson.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Darcy & Norah Nelson, and brothers Douglas Nelson, and Darcy Nelson, Jr.

We ask that you come and share your memories of this remarkable man at Morrison Payne in Burley, ID on Friday, March 1, 2024, from 4pm – 6pm.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gustave (Gus) A. Nelson, please visit our floral store.

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