Cover photo for C. Wayne Nelson's Obituary
C. Wayne Nelson Profile Photo

C. Wayne Nelson

April 18, 1944 — August 8, 2015

C. Wayne Nelson

Carroll "Wayne" Nelson

Carroll "Wayne" Nelson, 71, of American Falls, Idaho passed away suddenly at his home on Saturday, August 8, 2015.

He was born in the spring of 1944 in Pocatello, Idaho to Carroll Wendal Nelson and Helen Ruth Shaw.

Carroll and Helen moved their family to Lava Hot Springs and after a short stay there, they moved to Blackfoot, Idaho. Later on, when Wayne was still young, they moved to a small, cattle ranch on the Snake River in Blackfoot, Idaho. It was there he became attracted to the cowboy way of life with its rich history and colorful characters.

Wayne joined the military, as did many during the Vietnam War, and served in the Air Force for three years.

Upon his return to Blackfoot, Wayne met his first wife, Cecily Salinas. They were married in 1965 and were soon blessed with four children. Wayne married Becky Lewis in 1980, and they would have celebrated their 35th wedding anniversary on the day of his passing.

Wayne was a loyal employee of the Simplot Don plant for about 30 years. He was fondly known to his fellow employees as CW (CDub). Wayne retired in 2001.

Wayne played guitar and wrote music and songs for most of his life. He played in a few bands but enjoyed creating his own music and had a very successful solo career. He spent his retirement traveling all over the West including Elko, Nevada and Kamloops, British Columbia, doing what he loved most, playing music and entertaining.

He was well-known in the world of Cowboy Poetry, where he was known as "Snake River Wayne." He made many life-long friends performing at many different gatherings each year. He was honored with the prestigious Silver Quill and Golden Note Awards. His famous poem, "Snowville," was a crowd favorite and known to many. His presence at these gatherings will surely be missed.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Becky; sister, Rosie Stech, Boise; brother, LaVal Nelson, Hardin, Montana; children, Abbigail (Robert) Toland, Scappoose, Oregon; Mercy Nelson, Pocatello; Wayne (Tanya) Nelson, Pocatello; and Erik Nelson, Big Sky, Montana; 8 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and great-nieces and great-nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and sister, Nancy Beach.

A private, family viewing was held Sunday, August 9.

A Celebration of Life will be held for Wayne from 6-10pm, Sunday, August 16, 2015 at Upper Level Ross Park in Pocatello. Please bring your own chairs or blankets, beverages and musical instruments. We will have a "jam session" Nelson style.

In lieu of flowers, you may wish to donate to the Cowboy Poets of Idaho in memory of Wayne.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of C. Wayne Nelson, please visit our flower store.


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