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.