Grand marshals call Garland home
Robert Eugene and Gloria Marie Nelson have been selected to represent Garland as the Wheat and Beet grand marshals, and have also been named as the 2014 Wheelon Award recipients for their outstanding service to the community.
Fifty years ago, in June of 1964, the Nelsons moved to Garland from Belle Fourche, S. D., almost by destiny. They had come to visit friends, Dan and Aldine Nelsen. Dan, who had transferred to the area to work with the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company, was building a new home on West Factory Street.
Bob worked for the Belle Fourche newspaper, so a visit to the Leader newspaper office in Tremonton seemed natural. Gloria said, on his return, he was excited.
“I soon found out why,” she said.
He drove by the Leader office and told her, “That’s my new home. I guess we are suppose to be here.”
The Leader owner, Andy Rytting, had shown Bob around the ship and then offered him a job, with a raise, and two weeks to get back to Utah.
Gloria’s response to the sudden move was, “Maybe we better find a place to live.”
They still live in that home on East Factory Street.
Soon after their move to Garland, the Nelsons became involved in civic, religious and community activities. They participated in the Indian Placement Program, welcoming one boy and then five girls into their home during the school year. Students from Grouse Creek and Snowville also found a home there during school.
From 1967-1971, Bob served as ward clerk and then counselor in the Garland First Ward, then again from 1972-1977.
He was a member of Garland’s Lion’s Club and served in a number of capacities until it merged with Tremonton Lion’s Club. The group served Wheat and Beet Days breakfasts and cooked in the hamburger stand at the park. He donated time working on the ward and stake farms, thinning beets and picking corn the couple later canned at the Garland Cannery. He also worked with Garland mayor, Andy Funk, on several community projects.
In 1968, Bob went to work at Thiokol, where he worked for 24 years and nine months, retiring in 1992, an early retirement after having surgery from bladder cancer in 1990.
Gloria has kept busy, as well. Early on, she became good friends with a neighbor, Elenor Munns and the two took night classes to get their high school diplomas, since both married before graduation. Gloria proudly calls herself a Bear River High School graduate.
She also joined the Garland Civic Club and worked on floats for parades. She later helped with the Wheat and Beet Days scholarship pageant and was instrumental in getting the name changed to the Bear River Valley Queen pageant. She helped with county elections and also volunteered as a Pink Lady at Bear River Valley Hospital.
Like her husband, she worked for a time at the Leader, as well as on two campaigns at the sugar factory, at Bear River High School and Maverik gas station.
She has quilted on a number of quilts for her neighbors, church and for the Bear River Valley Senior Center.
The Nelsons then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Los Angeles, Calif., from 1994 to 1996, then served in the Logan LDS Temple for over five years. Bob was also a Meals-on-Wheels driver for the Bear River Valley Senior Center.
They are the parents of Allan Dale Nelson (deceased), Sheila Rae Welch, Sandy and Carlos Astle and Melanie and Kyle Rees. They have six grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Together they have enjoyed working and serving in their community, and Garland has been blessed to count them as residents.