J. David Nelson

19510712 –


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J. David Nelson was born July 12, 1951, in Lubbock, Texas to Jack O. and Rose Mary Nelson. He passed away in Lubbock on July 18, 2018.

He graduated from Monterey High School, continued his education at Texas Tech University, culminating with a degree in Business Administration, followed by receiving his Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1976 from Texas Tech University School of Law. While at Texas Tech, he became a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity.

Nelson was admitted in 1976 to all Texas courts and the U.S. District Court, Northern District of Texas; 1980, U.S. District Court, Western District of Texas; and 1984, U.S. Supreme Court. David began his legal career as an assistant prosecutor for the Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office. He then practiced law in Big Spring and returned to Lubbock and joined his brother, Jack, to form the law firm of Nelson & Nelson in 1981, where he practiced until his death.

During his legal career, he belonged to Lubbock County Bar Association; Lubbock County Young Lawyers Association (President, 1985-1986); West Texas Young Lawyers Association (President, 1986-1987); Texas Association of Defense Counsel; Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation. He recently joined his brother as a member of The American Board of Trial Advocates.

Additionally, he was chosen Outstanding Young Lawyer, Lubbock County, 1985; served on Lubbock Dispute Resolution Advisory Board for Mediation; Trustee (Board Member) Windham School District, 2008-2013; First Vice-President, South Plains Association of Governments.

Nelson was a member of the Lubbock City Council, 1997-2002; appointed by two Texas Governors to serve on state boards, including Texas Board of Criminal Justice, 2008-2013 and Member, 1989-1995 and Chairman, 1991-1992, Texas Commission on Jail Standards.

Nelson became the Republican nominee for Lubbock County Court at Law #3 and was unopposed during the upcoming November general election. He was to take office on January 1, 2019.

David loved Lubbock and knew that his deep involvement in the community was his calling. He was the United Way Volunteer of the Year, a board member of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest, and of the Family Outreach Center of Lubbock. Nelson was named a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, designated by Lubbock Rotary Club. Additionally, he was a member of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce Governmental Affairs Committee, the South Plains Kidney Foundation and the Texas Tech University School of Law Foundation, among a host of other civic organizations. He was a long time fundraiser and participant of the Multiple Sclerosis 150 Bike Ride.

Nelson loved sports and was an avid baseball fan. He participated in high school sports where he played baseball under legendary Coach Bobby Moegle. It was a natural outgrowth of his enthusiasm that he advocated for bringing a professional team to Lubbock. He coached Little League teams, played on church teams, and was behind the plate cheering on his favorite team at every opportunity. He loved Red Raider Sports and was deeply proud of the recent successes of Texas Tech baseball.

David and his wife, Ainsley, founded West Texas Endurance in 2012 with the mission of encouraging active lifestyles and fitness in Lubbock. With a family-friendly atmosphere, thousands crossed the finish line at one of their races.

David was a faithful member of First Christian Church, former member of Lubbockview Christian Church and devoted to the Lord. He served as chairman of the board at Lubbockview and was a deacon, loyal chancel choir member, and a member and former president of the Seekers Sunday School Class at First Christian Church.

Nelson was preceded in death by his parents, a sister, Maegene, his first wife, Lockki Rosenbaum Nelson, and his beloved cocker spaniel, Owen Jenkins. He is survived by his wife, Ainsley, his brother, Jack, and his sister, Jill of Lubbock. Also mourning his loss are his brother-in-law, Scott Rosenbaum, mother and father-in-law, Judy and Greg Wingrove, sister and brother-in-law, Molly and Michael Coleman, and two nieces, Madison and Mallory. David and Ainsley recently added Tucker, a rescue dog, to their home.

A memorial service will be held at First Christian Church, 2323 Broadway, at 2 PM, on Monday, July 23rd, with visitation on Sunday, July 22nd from 5 to 7 PM, at Lake Ridge Chapel and Memorial Designers, 6025 82nd Street. The family will also receive visitors at the church immediately following the service. 

Honorary pallbearers are Phil Gamble, Jeff Griffin, Mark Griffin, Greg Jones and Everett Seymore, as well as the membership of Brothers of Sigma Chi Alumni, his lawyer’s daily lunch group, his Lubbock Country Club golf group, the Lubbock Bicycle Club, and the Chancel Choir of First Christian Church.

His family would like to express their sincere appreciation for the outpouring of love, thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. 

David had a servant’s heart and was a friend to all. In his memory, enjoy a day at the ballpark.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to The J. David Nelson Endowed Scholarship at Texas Tech Law School Foundation, the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Southwest or a charity of your choice.


10 thoughts on “J. David Nelson”

  1. Dear Ainsley, I just want you and the family to know that I am lifting you all in my prayers. I pray for Strength and Comfort. David was an amazing man that was a blessing to all who had the pleasure of knowing him. We loved David and we love you as well, if you need anything, please let us know. God Bless and keep you in this time.

    Love ya,

    Dennis and Nitra Barnes

  2. Nancy Yeargain

    You know how I loved David and your family. I loved my sweet cheek kisses from David. My heart is with you, as we talked today. You also know I will be thinking and praying for you all. With love, Nancy and family.

  3. Anna M. McGregor

    Dear Nelson family,
    I am sadden to hear of David’s passing. He was a remarkable individual and he will be greatly missed in our community. Whenever the opportunity was there for him to assist on one of my projects, he was always willing to give a willing hand. May you be comforted by God’s grace and those loved one who surround you. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Kind, fun, funny, helpful, dedicated, delightful, servant, Lubbock ambassador. David made the world better. From the first time I met him and all through Monterey and beyond, it was always a joy to encounter him. Even in the midst of my sadness about his death, every time I think of him, I smile. Thanks, dear friend.

  5. I am so sad about David’s death. David and I met at church camp when we were in jr high and have been friends ever since. David always took a special interest in my son, Jeffrey and especially his baseball career at Monterey. That meant so much to me and he always continued to check up on him.
    David was truly one of the good guys. I will miss him.

  6. Mukaddes Darwish

    Dear Jill, Jack and Family… I am saddened with the sudden loss of David, Sharing in your sadness as you remember him. David was a remarkable , wonderful person I feel so lucky that I got to know him. Holding you close in my thoughts and hoping you are doing OK

  7. The outpouring of love and affection from this community validates the good David did every day to make this a better community and world. Few people have been universally loved by all the people whose lives he touched. May God bring each of you comfort as you grieve his loss. May we each live up to his example and standards as we carry his values in our hearts.

  8. David Cummins, Professor of Law Emeritus

    In the prink and active, then snuffed out, is way too much for me to process or accept. We will have to be there for each other and gradually live in the new reality.

  9. Vickie (Keeling) and Randy Crispin

    Randy and I would like to express our deepest sympathy to the David Nelson family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. David was such a fine man. His loss will be felt by many.

  10. Ainsley and your family,

    David and I have been friends since Monterrey, which, I guess, was a few years ago. I particularly remember him playing in the raucous 43rd street football games over the years. My keen recollection is that David is one of those good people who energizes those around him. I love him dearly and will be thinking of you.
    Chip Monk

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