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Kenneth “Gene” Nelson

Kenneth Eugene “Gene” Nelson, 80, peacefully passed away at his California home December 25, 2012, with his son and daughter at his side.

Gene was born June 29th, 1932, in Bennington, NE, the son of Kenneth and Opal Nelson. He is survived by his children: James V. Nelson, of Desert Hot Springs, CA, Jill and Kelly Crawford of Ventura, CA, Sister Mrs. Kay Murphy and Brother Mr. Travis Nelson, both of Fremont, NE.

Gene’s family moved to Fremont, NE, in 1947, where he attended high school and met his wife to be, Patt Roush. In 1952, Gene and Patt united, enjoying 43 years of marriage. Patt preceded Gene in death, passing in 1995. After Patt’s passing, Gene was blessed to find another great love and a second family with Joan Banker. Passing away in 2010, Joanie preceded Gene.

1961 saw Gene along with his Brother and Brother-in-Law open a restaurant in Fremont, NE, The Safari. After several years at The Safari, Gene & Patt relocated to Colorado with their 2 small children, thus beginning a long history in the village of Estes Park.

In 1964, they took over The Timberline Steakhouse in Estes Park, CO. In their hands, The Timberline became a well established 34 year tradition, known for its quality food and service. Throughout the decades, they played host to many a party, developing dear and long lasting wonderful friendships.

Gene had a love for art and a god given talent that he utilized in full scale paintings including two magnificent murals that adorned both restaurants. After selling The Timberline, he was able to rekindle his love for art. Devoting his abilities, he created many beautiful paintings.

A wonderful father, brother, great friend and a loyal loving husband, he will be terribly missed. Take comfort knowing that he lived a full and happy life, ending peacefully with the ones he loved.

Memorial and celebration will be held on Saturday, January 5th, 2013, 3 p.m., at Allnutt Funeral Home in Estes Park. Contributions in Gene’s honor may be made to Best Friends Animal Society in care of Allnutt Funeral Home, 1302 Graves Ave, Estes Park, CO, 80517. Condolences may be sent to


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