Nelson Walter Rash passed away on January 23, 2023, in Sun City West, AZ, at the age of 88, with family by his side. He was born on November 8, 1934, in St. Johnsbury, VT, to Walter Edward Rash (Raiche) and Ruby Plum Somers. After graduating from St. Johnsbury Trade School, he joined the army and served three years as a dental specialist. During his service, he traveled much of Europe and developed a love for traveling. Nelson went on to work for Purina Chows / Checkerboard in St. Johnsbury, VT, and married Laura Delia Jacques of Waterford, VT, in 1956, with whom he had three children, Michael, Deborah, and David.
Nelson became manager of a Ralston Purina / Checkerboard feed store in South Ashburnham, MA, for several years and also managed Farmers Exchange feed store in Framingham, MA. He also worked as Purchasing Manager for The Old Mill Restaurant in Westminster, MA, and Procurement Manager for San Vel Concrete Corporation / Lone Star Corp in Littleton, MA. Nelson and Laura divorced in 1974.
In 1979 Nelson married Rachel Ann Peachey of Chelmsford, MA, and they traveled extensively to many countries around the globe. Rachel passed away from cancer in 1992. He then met his long-term partner Erika Schmidt of Chelmsford, MA, and they retired to Sun City West, AZ, in 1995 where they traveled the state of AZ and the southwest. Nelson worked part time as a monitor in his retirement community for over 20 years. Nelson enjoyed reading books about the western frontier, historical books, and mainstream authors. He also enjoyed pets, jigsaw puzzles, home remodeling, nature, hiking, genealogy, horseback riding, photography, politics, and current events in the news. He was proud to be a Mayflower descendant. Nelson was loving and caring toward his family and had so many memories and stories to share. He was very personable, always ready with a joke and always ready to lend a helping hand to friends, neighbors, coworkers, and those in need.
Nelson is survived by Erika Schmidt, sons Michael Rash and David Rash, daughter Deborah Frechette, stepdaughter Claire Peachey, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and extended family. He was predeceased by his parents, second wife Rachel Rash, sisters Catherine Reed and Betty Filgate, and adopted sister Bonnie Rash Therrien. A family graveside service will be held on June 17th at 10:00 at The Cathedral of The Pines in Rindge, NH. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in his name. Nelson was a proud Vermonter at heart, and although he lived in AZ for over 25 years, he always spoke fondly of his North East Kingdom roots.