James Ralph Nelson, 70, of Athens, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019, at Parkwest Hospital in Knoxville. He was a native of Harriman and a former resident of Bradley County before moving to McMinn County over 46 years ago. Ralph was the son of the late Henry Jackson and Ruby Stegall Nelson and was preceded in death by three sisters, Barbara Rayburn, Carolyn Hysinger, and Sherry Huffaker. He was a member of Mt. Verd Baptist Church, having served on the deacon board for over 39 years and also serving as chairman for several years. He was a maintenance foreman in the textile industry. Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Catina “Tina” Kathryn Mull Nelson of Athens; one daughter and son-in-law, Kathy and Jeff Jones of Sweetwater; one son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Lisa Nelson of Athens; four grandchildren, Taylor Moses and husband, Trey, Chloe Johnson, Jordan Nelson and fiancé, John Dobbs, and Graham Johnson; three great-grandchildren, Jameson, Tucker and Paisleigh; three brothers and three sisters-in-law, Virgil and Barbara Nelson of Cleveland, Danny and Linda Nelson of Cleveland, and Gary and Sharon Nelson of Cleveland; and one sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Ronnie Ball of Cleveland. Funeral services will be 7 p.m. Friday at Mt. Verd Baptist Church with the Rev. Donnie Dalton officiating. Burial will be 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Hopewell Baptist Church Cemetery in Cleveland. Pallbearers will be Trey Moses, Jeff Jones, Graham Johnson, Scott Sliger, Greg Smith, and Wayne Jarvis. The honorary pallbearer will be Avery Ross. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at Mt. Verd Baptist Church. If you are unable to attend the visitation or service, sign the guest registry at www.zieglerfuneralhome.com Ziegler Funeral Home of Athens has been entrusted with the care of James Ralph Nelson.

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