Robert J. Nelson (91) of Effingham


Published on January 10 2017 9:05 am

Robert J. Nelson, 91, of Effingham, IL., passed away on Friday, January 6, 2017, at his home.

According to Robert's wishes, cremation rites will be accorded. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held January 22, 2-4 pm at Marilyn and Robert's home for all family and friends. Johnson Funeral Home in Effingham is assisting the family. Memorials may be made in loving memory of Robert to the Alzheimer's Association.

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Robert was born on March 29, 1925, in Queens, New York, the son of Nels and Irene (O'Leary) Nelson. He married Marilyn (Brummer) May 25, 1991 in Urbana, IL. Robert served in the United States Army from June 1943 to February 1946. He graduated from Columbia College with a Doctor of Philosophy degree specializing in the Romance Languages. Robert's career included teaching at Yale, University of Michigan, and the University of Pennsylvania. He also served as a visiting professor of French at Stanford University and University of Reading (England). He completed his life-long work in education as a professor of French at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign where he retired. Robert received many honors including a Fulbright Student Award and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship. He wrote nine books and hundreds of articles in his field of study.

Robert is survived by his wife, Marilyn (Brummer) Nelson of Effingham; son, Andrew Nelson of Urbana, IL; daughter, Alexandra Nelson-Chin of Chicago, IL; step-son, Scott Dust of Charleston, IL; step-daughter, Juliana Martin of Effingham, IL; six grandchildren, and one sibling Patricia McCormick of McLean, Virginia.

He was preceded in death by his parents and seven siblings.