Funeral Services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, April 11, 2011, at Campbell-Lewis Chapel in Sweet Springs. Visitation will be held from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Nelson will be laid to rest in Fairview Cemetery in Sweet Springs. Friends may sign the online register book at www.campbell-lewis.com. Memorials may be made to the Gov. Baxter School for the Deaf--Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Foundation.
Born August 10, 1949, in Los Angeles, Calif., he was the son of Joseph Leonard and Jane (Berthoff) Treece.
He grew up in Southern California including Los Angeles, Pasadena, and San Gabriel. He graduated from Pomona College in 1971 and was awarded a scholarship to Princeton to study linguistics with special emphasis on philosophy and the classics. He earned a Masters of Arts from Princeton in 1973. Following Princeton, Nelson was involved in deaf culture at Gallaudet University in Washington, D.C."
Nelson earned a Masters of Arts in Education at Gallaudet and began his student teaching in 1979. Nelson became an assistant professor at Gallaudet and eventually served as chair of Gallaudet's English Department. While at Gallaudet, Nelson authored the abstract "Use of the Cloze Procedure to Measure Reading Comprehension and Language Ability of the Deaf" in 1989, challenging the use of the Cloze Procedure--a fill-in-the-blanks activity used to measure reading ability in non-hearing impaired students--in deaf students.
In 1990, Nelson was accepted as a doctoral student at Harvard University's Department of English and graduated from Harvard with a Ph.D. in English. Nelson finished his career at the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing as a public school outreach consultant and Teacher of the Deaf. His advocacy for deaf children was written reports and academic case studies. He enjoyed genealogy. He chose to teach himself Dutch and read Dutch for pleasure.
He is survived by his first cousin.
He was preceded in death by his mother in 1978 and his father in 1994.