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“Sharla and Family I just wanted to let you know how sorry I am about your father. My parents remembered him but I had no idea until I saw your name...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Michele Youd - Spanish Fork

“Michelle, Dave, Jeff & Debbie. We are so sorry for your extream loss. Greg was a good kid. He was very kind & thoughtful towards others & couldn't...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Bruce, Caroline & Kenneth

“My deepest sympathy to the family of Keith Wickman. May the strength of your faith in God comfort you during this difficult time. Can you please...Read More »
3 of 3 | Posted by: Dale Wickman - Mesa, Arizona


Our beloved father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and friend, age 82, died Monday, July 20, 2009 after a short illness. We will miss him, but know he is reunited with his sweetheart, Phyllis, whom he has missed so much these past five years.

Joe was born March 16, 1927 in Richfield, Utah, where his father was teaching, to Joseph Einar Nelson and Marie Hales Nelson. He was the youngest of his siblings, Sterling, Thelma, and Marian. The family moved to Spanish Fork when Joe was a small child. He attended school in Spanish Fork. He told fun stories of the dreaded chore of milking the cow but also of the many street games of basketball he played in his boyhood neighborhood. He talked often about the grand times spent with his teenage buddies, Garth, Fred, Bob, and Herb riding around the town and fields in their family cars- friendships that lasted the test of time. He graduated Spanish Fork High School with the class of 1945, and treasured his associations over the years and reunions. Joe, also known in high school as J-Art, was All-State in football, basketball and track.
Joe served his country in WWII.

He married his high school love, Phyllis Mae White, at her father's home in Spanish Fork on September 3, 1949. The marriage was solemnized by his father, Judge Joseph E. Nelson. Joe and Phyllis have two daughters and a son.

He had a nationally recognized basketball career at Brigham Young University where he was named an All-American, playing for coaches Floyd Millett and Stan Watts. "Jumpin'Joe" was the All-Conference scoring champion of the Skyline Conference in 1948 and 1950 and was named to the Helms All-American team in 1948 - the year he set a scoring record against Denver with 37 points. Many of his college scoring records, as well as free-throw percentages were not broken in over 25 years until the Kresimir Kosic and Danny Ainge eras at BYU. Joe was selected for the Los Angeles National Invitational Tournament (1948), Skyline Conference all-tournament all-star team (1949) NCAA western all-star team (1950) and played in the East-West All-Star game in 1950 in Madison Square Garden, New York. He toured the country in 1950 as a member of the College All-American team, playing against the Harlem Globetrotters - one of his favorite memories. In 1950, he received the Dale Rex Memorial Award for his contribution to amateur athletics in Utah, the fourth recipient and the first basketball participant. He is an inductee to the BYU Sports Hall of Fame. In 1999, he was also inducted to the Utah Sports Hall of Fame in basketball. He played professional basketball with the St. Paul Lights (Minnesota) and also the Waterloo Hawks (Iowa) for several years.

After leaving pro-basketball because there was no money in it, he worked briefly at Dugway Proving Grounds, where he continued to play basketball for recreation. He then worked for and retired from USS Geneva Steel after 35+ years.

Joe is a member of The Church Of Jesus Christ Of Latter-day Saints.

In his younger years, he was a member of the Spanish Fork Jaycees, was a high school basketball referee, enjoyed coaching briefly the young men in basketball in the Fourth Ward. He was very good at golf, bowling and billiards. We loved him to take us for rides on his bike and going to the drive-in movies complete with homemade sandwiches and treats. He liked playing dominoes, board games and cards with his grandchildren. He loved good competition of any kind; and, his children were the recipients of many fluffy stuffed animals won at the basketball shooting arcades at Lagoon,the 24th of July and Onion Days carnivals. As time went by, he liked spending time at his cabin at Strawberry and going fishing there, as well as Otter Creek, Deer Creek and Schofield reservoirs with his family and friends. In later years, he enjoyed going on the senior citizens tours with his wife and they also had some fun trips with Phyllis' sister, Karen and her husband, Jim, as well as his brother, Sterling and his wife, Eva Jean. He took tender care of our mother in her last years, when her Rheumatoid Arthritis was so debilitating; and through the years developed a unique cooking talent. After her death, he could be found going for drives in his SUV, and became known at the coffee shop and around town for handing out candy and grab bags of goodies.

Joe is survived by his children: Cheris (Michael) Losee of Lake Shore; Sharla (M.Jay) Thomas, of Spanish Fork; J. Gregg (Linda Adams) Nelson, of Provo; six grandchildren plus nine and great-grandchildren: Matt and Candice Losee, and Ashlyn and Treyven; Kurt Losee, and Mason and Talon; Josh Losee - all of Lake Shore; Jaymon and Nicole Thomas and Hadlee, Cullen, and Joseph; Jacey and Landon Ramsay, and Taydon and Kayson; and Jenifer Thomas - all of Spanish Fork. Also survived by his sisters, Thelma Nelson of Spanish Fork; and Marian Faux of West Valley City; and sister-in-law, Karen (James) Thorn of Springville; as well as many nieces and nephews of the White and Nelson families of whom he was very fond.

Predeceasing him were his parents; his beloved wife, Phyllis; brother and sister-in-law, Sterling and Eva Jean Nelson; brother-in-law, Neal Faux; in-laws, Fred and Patricia White; nephew, A. Reid Nelson; and niece, Barbara Faux Call.

Funeral services for Joe will be Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 11 a.m. in the Walker Mortuary Chapel, 187 South Main, Spanish Fork, Utah. Visitations are Wednesday, July 22, 2009 from 6-8 p.m.; and 9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. prior to services at the mortuary. Interment at Spanish Fork Cemetery.