David Eric Nelson, a beloved husband, father, grandfather, friend and colleague, passed away from prostate cancer on April 12, 2023, at his home in Darien, Connecticut. He was 75.
David was born on July 24, 1947, in Washington, D.C. to Gideon Erik Nelson and Amy Bostrom Nelson. He grew up in St. Louis, along with his younger brother, Peter Brook Nelson. A graduate of Lindbergh High School, he developed his lifelong passions for learning, music, sports and community service in St. Louis.
After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from Wesleyan University in 1969 and teaching sixth grade for a year, David was drafted into the U.S. Army. He served as a computer programmer and systems analyst in Heidelberg, Germany, until his honorable discharge in 1972.
David returned to St. Louis and worked for Monsanto Company and Kellwood Company while pursuing his Master of Business Administration degree from Washington University in St. Louis, which he earned in 1976.
David began his 35-year investment career in 1976 at Burns, Pauli & Co., Inc. in St. Louis before moving to Baltimore in 1982 to join Legg Mason as an investment analyst and later the director of research. He joined Investment Counselors of Maryland as a principal and portfolio manager in 1989 before returning to Legg Mason in 1998.
During his second tenure at Legg Mason, David was the portfolio manager of the American Leading Companies Trust and chaired the investment policy committee before his retirement in 2011. He was a Chartered Financial Analyst, past president of the Baltimore Society of Security Analysts, and an adjunct professor at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.
In retirement, David and his beloved wife Betsy split their time between their homes in Baltimore, Darien, and Washington, D.C. They loved spending time with their three daughters and sons in law, and David relished his fame as Poppy to his nine grandchildren.
His love of games, sports, and adventures was passed down through the generations with competition guaranteed in spirited games such as Phase 10, UNO, cribbage and golf.
Poppy was usually the first in the water when jumping off the Noroton Bay pier, spent hours as a batting practice pitcher, and left no doubt who he was cheering for at countless swim meets and baseball games.
David championed civic life in Baltimore, including through service on several boards. He was a longtime trustee of the Baltimore School for the Arts, recently chairing the endowment committee, former board member of the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust and former trustee and board president of the Bryn Mawr School.
Sober for 25 years and active in the recovery community, David also chaired the Maryland chapter of the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence.
David is survived by Betsy, his wife of 49 years; his three daughters: Sara Goertel (Tim) of Darien, Stephanie Nelson (Neil Campbell) of Washington, D.C., and Jennifer Ray (Ryan) of New Canaan; his nine grandchildren: Charlie, Thomas, Abigail, and Emily Goertel, Peter and Patrick Campbell, and George, Henry, and Teddy Ray.
David will be remembered for his intellectual curiosity and love of learning, his exuberant hugs, and his unwavering dedication to his family, friends, and community.
A celebration of life will be held at 1:30 p.m., May 7 at the Baltimore School for the Arts. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Baltimore School for the Arts or to the Maryland Chapter for the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD-MD).
“We never lose the people we love, even to death. They continue to participate in every act, thought, and decision we make. Their love leaves an indelible imprint in our memories. We find comfort in knowing that our lives have been enriched by having shared their love.” – Leo Buscaglia
— This obituary is from the EverLoved.com website, where online condolences may be left. Online condolences may also be left on this web page of the Legacy.com website, which was posted by the Darien Times.