top of page

Obituary: In Loving Memory of Douglas William Nelson, Oct. 2, 1947 - Dec. 22, 2023

For The Madera Tribune

Douglas William Nelson.


It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Douglas William Nelson. Born on Oct. 2, 1947, in Oakland, CA, Doug’s journey came to a peaceful end on Dec. 22, 2023, in Fresno, CA.

Throughout his life, Doug exemplified the true meaning of service, dedicating himself wholeheartedly to the betterment of his community. An active member and leader of numerous service clubs in Madera, Doug’s commitment to service was unparalleled. He was a devout member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church and served as head of the Bishop’s Committee for many years. His impact was felt far and wide, touching the lives of many in Madera.

A true advocate for the youth, Doug’s compassion and mentorship provided guidance to countless young individuals in Madera; coaching for Madera Pop Warner Youth Football was especially close to his heart. His legacy as a mentor will endure, leaving an everlasting mark on the lives of those he inspired.

A decorated veteran, Doug served his country with honor in Vietnam, earning 2 Bronze Star Medals with Valor, the fourth-highest ranking award a service member can receive for a heroic and commendable deed performed in an armed conflict. Following his military service, Doug continued to serve, devoting an impressive 36 years of his life as an attorney for the County of Madera. He was hired in 1985 within the County Counsel office and in 2010 he was appointed as County Counsel. He retired in 2013, but returned to work part time until 2021. 

Doug is survived by his wife, Malcolm Gatz and brothers, Michael Nelson, his wife Sandy Gant, Martin Nelson and his wife Monica. He is also survived by his nephew Mark Nelson, his wife Jenny, and their two children, Emery and Jaeger. Additionally, Doug leaves behind his goddaughter, Francesca Dove.

Services for Doug will be Monday, February 12 at 11:30 a.m., at Madera United Methodist Church (500 Sunset Ave). In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that remembrances be made to Madera Christmas Baskets, a cause close to Doug’s heart. Donations can be sent to 422 North C St., Madera, CA 93638.

The legacy of Douglas William Nelson will live on in the hearts of those he touched and in the enduring impact of his service. May he rest in eternal peace, and may his memory inspire us all to continue his legacy of compassion and selfless dedication to others.



bottom of page