Eric Nelson
Eric Nelson
Eric Nelson
Eric Nelson

Obituary of Eric Alan Nelson

Eric Alan Nelson (Rick) age 76, died of a heart attack in Falls Church, VA, May 18, 2023.


Rick attended Mount Vernon High School and Fort Hunt High School, 1965


He graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont, where he maintained friends and acquired a love of old motorcycles.


At the University of Wisconsin – Madison, Rick studied organic chemistry and was a teaching assistant and a member of the Teaching Assistant Association, TAA. After being the Chemistry Dept TAA strike picket captain, he left UW-Madison with a master’s degree in Organic Chemistry, a teaching certificate, and skills in labor union organization. He met Kathy at a UW labor union organizing event.


Rick returned to Fairfax County and taught Chemistry, Biology, and Physics at Robinson, Jefferson, and Annandale high schools. 


Rick was a founding member of the Fairfax County Federation of Teachers (FCFT)/AFT/AFL-CIO. As FCFT president, he represented teachers in grievances and addressed teacher issues to the school board. 


In retirement Rick wrote “Calculations in Chemistry: An Introduction” with Dr. Donald J Dahm.


Rick’s most recent passion was the science of learning, advocating for phonics in reading and memorization in math, i.e. flash cards.  He wrote/co-authored several papers on this topic.


Rick just got his motorcycle learner’s permit, he recently sold his Ford Model T.


Rick was the husband of Kathryn Grover Nelson (Kathy), 

father to Amanda, Daniel and Shannon, 

brother to Jean and Robert, proud grandfather of Leo, 

in-law to William (Bill), Melissa (Lissa), and Diane Grover


Preceded in death by Wayne and Martha Nelson 


There will be a future family gathering.


Donations can be made in Rick’s name to:

the Center for Health, Environment & Justice 

or Creating Opportunities for All (COFA) 


To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Eric Nelson, please visit our Tree Store
A Memorial Tree was planted for Eric
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Advent Funeral and Cremation Services - Falls Church
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