Grant W. Nelson

May 17, 1924 - Dec 31, 2020
Ferndale, WA

Grant W. Nelson

May 17, 1924 - Dec 31, 2020
Ferndale, WA


Dr. Grant Winfield Nelson, DDS, beloved husband, father, brother, and friend, passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Ferndale home on December 31, 2020.  Grant was born on May 17, 1924, in Chicago, Illinois, to Oscar and Mildred Nelson. Grant was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Lee, and his brothers, Russ and Don. Grant valiantly served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army Air Corps, in the 38th Bomb Group, as a B-25 bomber pilot, flying many missions in the Pacific Theater during World War II.

After his tour of duty, Grant was accepted to the University of Illinois Dental School. It was there he met the love of his life, Mary Lee. In 1952, after both graduating, they made a commitment that resulted in over 60 years of companionship and love. They then traveled west and made Ferndale, WA, their home where Grant began his career as a dentist.  He maintained a dental practice for over 30 years in Ferndale.

Grant’s passions were flying and travel.  He was a member of the “Flying Dentists Club.” He flew private Cessnas and earned his instrument rating.  Every Sunday, he met with fellow pilots at the Bellingham Airport – the group proudly refers to themselves as the “Whatcom Old Flyers Club” – where they shared endless, yet captivating stories. Europe and Asia were Grant and Mary Lee’s favorite places to explore, and they also loved to travel across the United States in their motor home with their two children.

Grant is survived by his two children, David and Nancy, Nancy’s husband Dan, and his three grandchildren, Katy, Christopher, and Alexa.

Grant lived a long, honorable life, and kept his renowned sense of humor to the very end. He will be dearly missed.

Grant will be laid to rest at Greenacres Memorial Park, with military honors, in Ferndale, WA.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Bellingham Central Lions Club.

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4 responses to Grant W. Nelson

  1. Laurie Irwin says:

    Nancy & Family,
    I am sorry to hear of Grant’s passing. He had a very full life. Cherish your memories and smile while you remember the great times you had. I will be honored to be involved in his Military Honors.
    Love & Hugs

  2. I must add that he was a great and loving boss. I had the priveledge to work with Dr. Nelson for quite a few years and we had up and down days, but in the end we had fun. He and Marylee took the working crew to a convention in Las Vegas, we attended many shows, but at one show we kidded Dr. about his binoculars, he wanted us to check out the teeth on one of the showgirls, we laughed and thought next time we would put mascara on the lenses so that when he took the binoculars down he would look like a racoon. How we laughed about that. And there were many other stories to tell about Friday staff meetings with wine coolers, dinner in the motorhome, etc.
    God rest his soul, and he is rejoicing to be with Marylee and family.
    Norma Christensen

  3. Dr. Nelson was such a wonderful man. He was our dentist for many years. Many folks dread going to the dentist but he was so kind, gentle and funny-I enjoyed seeing him. I always enjoyed seeing him in church when I visit my parents. My prayers and condolences to his family.

  4. Judy C says:

    He was our family dentist for many years. Everyone loved him. I ran into him at the Ferndale Drug Store about 10 years ago now. He recognized me and asked how the kids were doing. He was always so compassionate and for sure the best dentist ever! Rest In Peace Dr. Nelson…………..

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