Landscapes 15

Paul Thomas Nelson

May 29, 1957 ~ June 1, 2022 (age 65)


Paul Thomas Nelson, 65, hat hoarder, ski bum, farkle king, and Lord of the Fly Rod passed away June 1st 2022 in Asheville, North Carolina. Paul was born May 29th 1957 in St. Joseph, Michigan to Alfred and Barbara Nelson. Along with his three older sisters, Diana, Linda, and Susan, the family later moved to Jupiter, Florida where he graduated Jupiter High in 1975. Following graduation, he enlisted in the Army, playing tuba in the Army Band until 1978. He returned to Jupiter, where he met his future wife Elaine Skolar. After readily accepting her marriage proposal, the pair wed in 1987, and from that day forth he became proud Dad to Frank and Colleen Ryan. Throughout his life, Paul thrived working jobs that “paid to schmooze”. Some of his favorite jobs were in the service industry, specifically fine dining, where he wined and dined stars like Jack Nicholson and Hunter S. Thompson. While working in Aspen, he discovered his love for skiing, which he picked back up years later. In 1990, the family moved to Asheville and after decades in the restaurant industry, he switched up careers in 2004, “talking trash” for Moffitt International. Over the years, family vacations took them to four continents and countless states, often times to meet their kids and grandchildren. Nothing made Papa Paul happier than visits with Wiley and Finn who he shared the joys of fishing, camping, and music. Paul was a man of many hobbies and interests and music was a big part of his life, from playing tuba and bass to listening to Earth Wind and Fire and John Prine. For a wedding anniversary, Elaine gifted Paul a 3-day Orvis class, spawning a lifelong passion for fly-fishing. This turned out to be a “gift that kept on giving”, as Paul later volunteered for Project Healing Waters, providing support to disabled veterans. Without a doubt, his favorite pastime was skiing and up until his illness, he volunteered as a ski patroller at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort, where he found his ski family. He got one last epic run this past February, enjoying a weekend of powder at Mount Hood with his buddy Chad. When he wasn’t working or enjoying the great outdoors, you’d probably spot him sporting a goofy grin and Cubs jacket, drinking a cold one at his favorite watering hole. When Paul took off for that heaven-high ski hill, he joined his parents and daughter, Colleen Ryan. He is survived by his wife Elaine, son Frank Ryan and wife Lauren, grandchildren Wiley Colleen and Finnigan Drew Ryan, sisters Diana, Linda, and Susan Nelson, and countless friends. Paul’s Celebration of Life will be held at Wolf Ridge Ski Resort 2pm on Wednesday, June 15th followed by an after-party potluck at the Getaway River Bar at 5pm. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Ski the Ridges, funding skiing for disabled and underprivileged youth. Memo line: Paul Nelson. 578 Valley View Circle Mars Hill, NC 28754.

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Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Paul

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Celebration of Life
June 15, 2022

2:00 PM
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort
578 Valley View Circle
Mars Hill, NC 28754

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