•••• Nelson Gene Melville 1937–2020
Nelson Gene Melville succumbed to COVID-19 on Dec. 10, 2020, at 83 years old. Nelson was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, to Wanda and Nelson Melville, on Feb. 16, 1937. He had one sister, Dorothy Hartshorn, who was 16 years older. His family moved to Los Angeles when he was a teenager and he graduated from John Marshall High School and enlisted and served in the United States Army. He was stationed in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He learned culinary skills after his service and went to work as a chef in Clifton’s Cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles and Lakewood, California.
Nelson never married.After the death of his father, he purchased a home in Leisure World,Seal Beach, at the age of 55 and lived in Mutual 11, apartment 264-J, for 28 years.
Nelson was active in the Garden Club and grew awesome tomatoes. Traveling was another pastime, in his early years, he would often go to Laughlin, Nevada, for a weekend of gambling with his friend, Pat.
He spent his most rewarding hours in the Lapidary Room, creating and repairing jewelry, pressing glass pieces and designing amazing clocks.
If you knew Gene (as his family called him) then you know he was a collector of Coke bottles, Campbell Kid soup ornaments, rocks and other odds and ends.
He spent many hours on his front porch with neighbors and friends, and listening to the police and fire scanners. He watched nature shows, the History Channel and UCLA football.
But last year, with the closing of the Lapidary Room for remodeling and the coronavirus, his front porch time became even more important.
Survived by nephews David and Terry Hartshorn, two greatnieces, a great-nephew, and 11 great-great-neices and -nephews, Nelson will be missed by family, especially Terry and his wife, Sharon, who loved hearing his family stories over lunch, his neighbors in Mutual 11 and Lapidary Room partners.