It is with the heaviest of hearts that we bid farewell to our beloved father, Blaise Nelson. Pre-deceased by his darling wife, our mother, Ann Elizabeth Nelson, on March 11 of this year, Blaise is survived by daughters Fiona (Kris), Tara (Stephen) and Shannon (Kevin), and his deeply adored grandson Alex. He also leaves his brother-in-law in Ontario and cousins in the U.K.
Born in Belfast to William and Margaret Nelson, Blaise’s early childhood was marked by the upheaval of World War II. In 1948, the family moved to Montreal where Blaise revelled in an idyllic Canadian boyhood of sports, Boy Scouts and camping. When his father passed away in 1952, he and his mother moved back to Belfast, but Canada always called to him. At the age of sixteen Blaise met with Hudson’s Bay recruiters in Belfast and applied to return to Canada as a fur trapper for The Bay. When they found out he was the only son of a widow, they declined his application.
This was our good fortune because in 1959 he met our mother Ann and was instantly smitten. By then he was a young officer in the Royal Ulster Constabulary who walked the beat at the end of Ann’s street. He played it cool, walked her home a few times, took her dancing and charmed her right into his arms. They married in September 1962, and welcomed Fiona to the family a year later. In 1967, after serving ten years in the RUC in Belfast, Blaise applied to the Edmonton Police Service and the family emigrated to Canada. Settled in Edmonton, and later Sherwood Park, the family was happily completed by the addition of Tara and Shannon.
Blaise retired in 1997, having served 40 years in law enforcement in Belfast and Edmonton. He was a champion swimmer who was recognized by the Royal Humane Society, while in the RUC, for jumping into the Lagan River to rescue a drowning man. By the time he retired from the EPS, at the rank of Staff Sergeant, he had worked in Sex Crimes, Arson, Child Abuse and Homicide. He took great pride in his work and was held in high regard by all his colleagues.
Blaise and Ann moved to Victoria in 1998 and were finally able to engage in some world travels. Over the years they visited several cities in Europe and the US, and went on two cruises. Their final big trip was in 2018 when the entire family travelled together to Northern Ireland.
There were many beloved animals in Blaise’s life, including Pixie the cat, dogs Goldie, Paddington and Rupert, and many grand-cats and grand-dogs. If people wish, in lieu of flowers, donations to a humane society or animal rescue would be welcomed. Condolences may also be offered to the family at www.mccallgardens.com
Blaise Nelson started his career with the Edmonton Police Department on July 8th, 1967 as a member of Recruit Training Class 26. His first 5 years were spent in Patrol Division with a brief assignment in Gaol Section. Assignments in Planning Section and Property Management section followed and in 1975, Blaise moved back to Patrol Division. In 1977, he was promoted to detective in General Investigation Section. Subsequent assignments as a detective included Homicide & Robbery Section, CIS “C” Division and Arson Detail. Blaise was promoted to staff sergeant in Sex Crimes & Child Abuse Unit and stayed in that area until his retirement on April 11th, 1997.
Friend and classmate of Blaise, Gary Jones, shared the following information: After retiring, Staff Sgt. Blaise Nelson and his wife Ann relocated to Vancouver Island, where they spent the last 19 years. They used their retirement years to explore a little more of the world, enjoying a few cruises and trips to Europe. Their three grown daughters still live in Alberta with their families, including a 10 year old grandson whom they adore and enjoy watching grow into a great young man.
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