Howard Philip Nelson, who owned and operated the Wisconsin-based Nelson Bus Company with his brother, passed away on Dec. 1, 2016, at his home. He was 71.
According to his obituary, Howard was born in Oct. 1945, Howard was a life-long Wisconsin native, and along with brother Robert took control of the Nelson Bus Company from their grandfather, Wendell, who started the business in 1940.
Located in Whitewater, a small city in southern Wisconsin, Howard and Robert expanded the Nelson Bus Company by selling commercial and school buses in addition to providing maintenance services. The company also distributes parts throughout Wisconsin, upper Michigan and northern Illinois.
As a Thomas Built Buses dealer, Nelson Bus Company was named the OEM’s Dealer of the Year Award in 2010.
In 2005, Howard and Robert relinquished control of the company to their nephew. Currently, Nelson Bus Company provides daily transportation services to 2,000 students who attend three school districts in Wisconsin.
The National Student Transportation Association said in a statement that Howard “will be remembered by all for his willingness to help others, never-ending patience and family centered life” that included family snowmobile trips and ranchero rides during the summer.
On top of his contributions to the school bus industry, Howard served more than 50 years as a member of the Lauderdale-LaGrange Fire Department.
Howard is survived by his wife, three children, three siblings and three grandchildren. He was laid to rest in a ceremony on Tuesday.
Cards of sympathy can be sent to: Nelson Bus Company, W8608 Willis Ray Road, Whitewater, WI 53190.