Nature 39

Joseph Nelson

Obituary

Joseph Nelson passed away at the age of 75 on May 21, 2022. He will be lovingly remembered by his family and friends.

He was born and grew up in Tennessee, then moved to Montana in 1967 to begin his lifelong career with the U.S. Forest Service on what was then the Fortine Ranger District. His numerous positions in wildland fire suppression took him on incidents to all of the western states as well as Florida, Alaska, Michigan and Minnesota over the course of 37 years. He was quietly proud of the critical role he played as a Communications Unit Leader on such fires as the Yellowstone Complex in 1988 and the Black Mountain Fire in 2003.

Joe cared deeply about the community and he served as both a volunteer dispatcher and a reserve deputy with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Department. His extensive work in historical preservation included restorations of both Mount Wam's and Stahl Peak's lookout towers, Wolverine Cabin, numerous structures in Virginia City, and the barn at the Nine Mile Remount Depot. Joe was also one of the founding members of the Tobacco River Muzzle Loader's club and helped start the annual black powder shoot.

He is preceded in death by his parents Marian and Dick Braatz, former wife Sue Curtiss, and long-time friend Colleen Braun. He is survived by his son Patrick, brother David Braatz, and brother-in-law Gareth Curtiss.

There will be a memorial reception to celebrate his life in the fall; for details contact Gareth or Patrick. Donations may be made in his name to the Tobacco River Muzzle Loader's Club or the Eureka Volunteer Ambulance Service.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joseph Nelson, please visit our floral store.

Memorial Tree
A Memorial Tree was planted for Joseph

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