William S. “Bill” Nelson

William S. “Bill” Nelson

March 24, 1929 – November 28, 2022

Bill was a proud public school teacher for 45 years. The first 10 years were spent teaching in the Ainsworth Public Schools. He spent the next 35 years in his dream job at Westside High School where he was the Chairman of the Social Studies Department. It was a Social Studies Department that was recognized both locally and nationally for its excellence and innovation. During Bill’s career, he won many awards for his outstanding ability to teach. Some of those awards included the Distinguished Teacher Award from the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, the Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies Outstanding Social Studies Educator Award, and the Westside Education Association School Bell Award.

One of Bill’s proudest accomplishments was identifying those Westside Alumni that made the ultimate sacrifice during the Vietman War and commissioning a plaque that hangs in their honor at Westside High School to this day.

Bill was an avid fisherman, sports fan, puzzle master and gardener.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha Alice “Meg” Nelson; son, John; parents, Dick and Elsie; brother, “Bus”; and sister, Lavere.  Bill is survived by his special friend, Mary; daughter, Susie; son, David (Jodi); daughter-in-law, Mary; grandchildren, Eric (Ashton), Leslie and Samantha; great grandchildren, Nevaeh, Johnny, Delbert, Will and Dekker; his Tuesday Afternoon Beer Drinking Buddies and many other friends and colleagues.

An Open House Celebrating Bill’s Life will be Saturday, December 10th, from 1pm to 4pm at the West Center Chapel.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Nebraska Children’s Home Society, 4939 South 118th Street, Omaha, Ne 68137.




  • Debbie Cady Posted December 4, 2022 12:44 pm

    I was so fortunate to have Mr. Nelson as my Social Studies teacher @ Westside HS, years 1970-1971. His kindness and his
    skill set as a great teacher meant a great deal to me. Thank you, Mr. Nelson, for what you did for me! Your example showed me how to become a great teacher; I won the award for Outstanding Teacher at Northeast Magnet High School in 1989. (Kansas City, Mo. Public School District)

  • Dr. Alfred F Pogge Posted December 5, 2022 2:25 pm

    Sorry to hear of Bill’s passing. My condolences to the family. I had the pleasure of teacdhing with him 1957-1962 at Ainsworth High School. He was a great teacher (and ping-pong player).

  • Bill Hayes Posted December 9, 2022 6:41 am

    He was a great teacher and colleague

  • Richard D. Brown Posted December 9, 2022 9:47 am

    During the almost 50 years I knew him, Bill was the master teacher who used innovative and progressive methods to not only impact his students, but also hundreds of other teachers in the region via our Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies conferences. By having students observe local and state public meetings and work in the political campaigns of their choice, his students experienced government ” in action.” He was the ultimate educational professional to whom many of us owe much gratitude. Westside social studies was strong due to his leadership and the teaching talent he attracted. Even though my career was spent at Millard High/Millard South, he was important to any successes I had. My sympathies to his family.

    Executive Secretary
    Nebraska State Council for the Social Studies

  • Bill Hayes Posted December 10, 2022 6:00 pm

    He will be missed by all

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