Dr. Luther S. Nelson

Published 4:39 pm Wednesday, June 28, 2017

AMARILLO, TX- Dr. Luther Sullivan (Sully) Nelson was born on May 17, 1926, in Rich Square, North Carolina. He is survived by his beloved sons, Jim Nelson and his wife Dee Ann, and Stuart Nelson and his wife Lisa, and his cherished daughter, Glenda Nelson Rogers and husband Ted. He leaves behind four grandchildren: Sarah (David) Dunaway, Rachel Nelson, Kristen (Justin) Spruiell, and Stephanie (Kyle) Culbertson, and a great grandson Everett Sullivan Spruiell.  He was preceded in death by his wife Dolly, brother James, and sister Bernice.

Growing up in the Great Depression, Dr. Nelson learned responsibility early as he, as a very young man,


provided significantly for his mother and the rest of his family. In WWII, he followed his older brother James and many of his friends into the Army, and stationed in Hawaii through the cessation of hostilities, upon which he returned home to earn his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from East Carolina Teachers College. At ECTC, Dr. Nelson met the love of his life, Thelma Olivia Joyner, affectionately known to her friends as “Dolly.” He and Dolly wed on June 23, 1951. They remained happily married until her passing on February 14, 2002. 

After finishing his undergraduate work, Dr. Nelson went on to study medicine at the University of North Carolina Medical School, Chapel Hill, where he graduated with his MD on June 2, 1958. Following his graduation, he then interned in family practice at the University of Michigan Affiliated Hospitals in Ann Arbor. After practicing in family medicine in North Carolina for a few years, Dr. Nelson returned to the University of North Carolina to complete a residency in Radiology. In 1968, upon completion of his studies at UNC, he moved with his family to Amarillo, Texas. Just seven years later, Dr. Nelson was elected President of the Medical Staff at St. Anthony’s Hospital, and in 1981 was elected President of the Potter-Randall Medical Society.

Dr. Nelson was passionate about his every pursuit in life. He loved sport fishing for Blue Marlin off the coast of the Outer Banks, sailing on Lake Meredith, cattle ranching in the Texas Panhandle, and enjoyed British sports cars. A charitable man, Dr. Nelson also helped many people throughout his life. All who knew him will deeply miss him.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held Friday, June 30, 2017 at 11 a.m. at the Chapel of Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service of Ahoskie. Burial will follow the service at Highland Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Cal Farley’s Boys Ranch at www.calfarley.org

Garrett-Sykes Funeral Service – Ahoskie Chapel is handling the arrangements for the Nelson family and online condolences can be directed to the family by visiting www.garrettsykesfs.com.