Nelson served on Artesia’s City Council since March 1999, and has been mayor twice. He coined the popular slogan that canstill be seen on bumper stickers throughout the city, “Artesia, where every day is a good day.”
He married his wife Pat in 1970, and is survived by her, their son Chip, daughterinlaw Dawn, and grandchildren Austin Gray, Dakota Nelson, and Larry Nelson III. Nelson was born in Superior, Wisconsin and joined the Navy Seabees in 1967.
After marrying Pat, he moved to Artesia in 1972. Nelson had a passion for draft horses, and that prompted him to open his business called Larry’s Ponies, which specializes in horse drawn carriages, petting zoos, and pony rides.
He invented the concept of “Team Artesia” – which cemented the idea that the city council and the city staff are a team. He was an integral part of redevelopment projects like the Downtown RevitalizationProject, and many others.
Nelson’s legacy is Artesia’s Veterans Day event. More than a decade ago, Artesia didn’t have an event for Veterans Day. Today it is one of the larger regional events, with cooperation coming from the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base, the National Guard, and all of the Armed Forces.
Larry was very involved with community and charitable organizations. He is a past Citizen of the Year, past president of People to People (a community charitable organization), past Parks & Recreation Commissioner, a member of the Pioneer Days Committee and an honoree as Ambassador of the Year from the Artesia Chamber of Commerce.
Services will begin Thursday, May 6 at Holy Family Church in Artesia, starting at 10 a.m. Holy Family Church is located at 18708 Clarkdale Avenue. A funeral procession will leave Holy Family Church to his grave at Artesia Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, Larry asked prior to his death that donations go toward the Artesia/Cerritos Relay for Life Team. The Relay for Life is an event sponsored by the American Cancer Society. Please contact Melissa Gobas for informat ion on how to donate to the American Cancer Societ y, or to the Artesia/Cerr itos Relay for Life team.
Gobas can be reached at (562) 860-3361