Arthur Noble Nelson

Published 3:09 pm Friday, December 30, 2022

Arthur Noble Nelson, 74 of McComb, MS, was called home to God on Friday, December 23, 2022, at the home of his daughter and son-in-law in Houston, surrounded by his loving family. Art had traveled to Houston for treatment at MD Anderson due to a recurrence of Lymphoma, and though he was not able to win this final battle, he was granted one final Thanksgiving surrounded by his loving children, son-in-law, and granddaughter Eleanor, whom he adored. While the family hoped he would remain with them until Christmas, he was ready to join his beloved wife JoAnn for her favorite holiday this year.

Art, was born to Willard and Marguerite Nelson on August 24, 1948, in McComb and raised on New York Avenue with his two brothers, Charlie and Ken. The son of a WWII veteran who was awarded a purple heart and a mother raised on a farm in Johnston Station during the Great Depression, Art was raised with an understanding of fortitude and persevering in the face of adversity — characteristics he displayed throughout his life.

Art graduated from McComb High School in 1966 where he was active in athletics and student council, culminating with his being Senior Class President. Art went on to graduate from Ole Miss in 1971. Then met a girl named JoAnn Faldetta during a stint working in Hammond, Louisiana, and on April 8, 1972, the two were married. Working as a manager for Sears, Art and JoAnn moved a number of times but decided McComb is where he wanted his family to put down roots. They settled into life in his beloved hometown and in 1975, their son, Art Nelson, Jr. was born. Soon after, in November 1978, their daughter, Amy Elizabeth Nelson, completed their family. They lived on Louisiana Avenue, in sight of the Dinner Bell, and within walking distance of JJ White where walking to church as a family became a tradition.

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Art and JoAnn had an entrepreneurial spirit and operated The Royal Oak, a men’s clothing store for several years, before then opening The Travel Professionals. The Travel Professionals had several names over the years, but was always located in Collectors Corner on Georgia Avenue. It was a staple of McComb for decades before closing following the passing of JoAnn in 2020. Art left the running of the travel agency to JoAnn and became licensed in real estate appraisal. Art worked with and for his good friend Benton Gibson at Appraisal South until his initial cancer diagnosis forced him into retirement in 2017.

Art’s commitment to his community extended beyond business as he played an active role in his children’s lives by volunteering as a soccer and baseball coach for Art Jr. ‘s teams and Amy’s softball and basketball teams. But his greatest passion was faith and commitment to his church. He and JoAnn were founding members of New Covenant Presbyterian Church. His lifetime of faith in the Presbyterian church included serving as an Elder, hosting bible study groups with JoAnn, and raising his children to love the Lord would be something he’d say were his greatest achievements in life and was the place where he established some of the most important friendships of his life.

After JoAnn passed, he was diagnosed with his second bout of cancer, despite his children’s best efforts to move Art to Houston so they could take better care of him, he insisted on staying in McComb. Confident that his church community at New Covenant Presbyterian Church and close friends, would help take care of him, he chose to remain in the town and home that meant so much to him. He was absolutely right! For the past two years the heart of the McComb community was on display as help was extended to manage the closing of The Travel Professionals, attend to his medical needs, and maintain his home so he could be as independent as possible. His children will forever be grateful for the love and support Art received while they could not be close.

Art is survived by his son Art (Bob) Nelson Jr., his daughter Amy Nelson Pipe and his son-in-law, James Pipe and their daughter, the joy of Art’s life, Eleanor, all of Houston, TX. Art also leaves behind Tommy and Jane Walman and their daughter Katie Cordell, and her family; Ken and Lydia Nelson and their daughter Allison Nelson; Michael, Memrie and Taylor MacDonald and their families; and Dallas and Rick Dickerson and their families.

Visitation and funeral services will be held at New Covenant Presbyterian Church on January 4, 2023, from 10AM-11:30AM. Funeral services begin at 11:30am, followed by a burial service at Hollywood Cemetery. Rev. Brian McCollough will officiate.

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