Stephen Douglas Nelson, 70, Annandale, Va., formerly of Ann Arbor, Mich., died Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014, while traveling in Myanmar (formerly Burma).
He was born Sept. 1, 1943, in Hays to Kenneth Alfred and Sylvia Dorothy Juliet (Mattson) Nelson. He was a graduate of Topeka High School, Kansas State University and the University of Michigan, where he received his Ph.D. in social psychology. At KSU, he was active in the Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Blue Key Honor Society and College Quiz Bowl. He completed graduate school in Ann Arbor.
He married Gloria Bartholomew in 1966 in Alton. He worked at the Institute for Social Research. He later worked at the American Psychological Association and the Institute of Medicine/the National Academies, and just retired after 28 years of service from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, where he was a senior advisor on science and technology policy. He was the longest serving director of AAAS's Congressional Fellow's Program.
He served in the Truro community as a starter for the children's swim team, judge for the dive team, and co-parent rep for the dive team. He was active in the YMCA Indian Princess Program (a father-daughter organization), and he assisted in coaching her softball team. He enjoyed music and was an accomplished pianist, having taken piano lessons at Bethany College in Lindsborg during his pre-college years. He enjoyed reading and learning throughout his life. He enjoyed adventure travel, and together they had been to more than 60 foreign countries and to 48 states of the USA.
Survivors include his wife, Annandale; a daughter, Dana Lea B. Nelson, State College, Pa.; a sister, Karyl Sue Sylken, Portland, Maine; a brother, Robert R. Nelson, Holyoke, Maine; a niece, Anne M. Nelson, Washington; and many other relatives and friends.
A Kansas memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Plumer-Overlease Funeral Home, Stockton; additional services will be at a later date in the Virginia and Washington area. The family requests no flowers.
Memorials are suggested to Stephen D. Nelson Memorial Scholarship Fund, which is being established to support music education for pre-college age students at Bethany College, Lindsborg. The scholarship will be used to assist gifted students with financial need in purchasing piano music, in care of Plumer-Overlease Funeral Home, 723 First, Stockton, KS 67669.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.plumeroverlease.com.