John “Drake” Nelson Sr.

John “Drake” Nelson Sr.

John “Drake” Nelson Sr. died November 29th, 2020 after an extended illness. Born in Los Angeles in 1945, John primarily grew up in Long Beach, California.

Drake played baseball and attended Milikan High School in Long Beach. Honorably discharged from the Air Force in 1962. Drake relocated to Northern California and worked odd jobs, falling into hospitality.

Drake was diagnosed with cancer in the early 1970’s, given six months to live, then fought his way back and given a new lease on life. Bartender, then hotel and bar operator, Drake met his wife Sharon and was married December 1st, 1978. From his cancer diagnosis, then remission, Drake wasn’t expected to have children, but fathered two anyway. John “Drake” Nelson Jr, in 1980, and Chandra Marie Nelson in 1982.

Drake and family moved to Reno, Nevada in the 1980’s, where he worked in admitting, in the Emergency Room, for St. Mary’s Hospital. He also had a passion for fishing and was a fishing guide all over the west coast.

In the 90’s, Drake left the hospital, and became a part-owner of a fishing store in Sparks, NV called “The Gilly.” He would fix rods and reels from customers and build custom fishing rods as well. Drake and Sharon relocated once again to Oroville, California and opened a fishing store right up the road from Lake Oroville. Economy and health being the main factors, Drake retired, and sold the fishing shop.

Drake and Sharon’s new passion and hobby became horsemanship. They had two horses, Toby and Jack for many heartwarming years. Moving on in years, Drake became a “born again” Christian, and amateur Fox News Analyst. Early into retirement, Drake was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, but again Drake continued to persevere, and mystifying doctors, his heart stopped failing at such a rapid pace.

Fires, hot weather, and other factors had influenced Drake and Sharon to relocate once again, to Crescent City, California. Drake was diagnosed with kidney disease, but that did not stop Drake from doing what he wanted to do. He and Sharon bought a wonderful house, a couple blocks from the ocean. Drake continued to go fishing and make amazing BBQ. He had a great sense of humor and was cracking jokes and telling vivid stories right up until the end.

Drake is survived by his wife Sharon, his step-son Brian and two children Chandra and Drake Jr. Six grandchildren, Caleb, Alex, John “Joseph”, Antonette, Vienna, and Kailene. Brother, Richard Nelson.

Arrangements are under the direction of Wier’s Mortuary Chapel.

Please sign the family’s online guest book at

To plant a tree in memory of John Nelson, Sr. as a living tribute, please visit Tribute Store.

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