David E. Nilson

William H Craig Funeral Home

Obituaries | The Tube City Almanac | May 01, 2020

David E. Nilson, 89, of Greenock died at his home Thursday, April 30, 2020, with family at his side.

Born February 24, 1931, in Phillipsburg, PA, he was the son of the late Arthur E. Nilson and Lottie (Cribbs) Nilson. His beloved wife of 61 years, Marlene (Taylor) Nilson, and son, Todd T. Nilson, survive him.
A veteran of the US Army, he served during the Korean War as a Staff Sergeant with the Army Corps of Engineers, 30th Engineer Base Topographical Company, 542nd Survey Company. He was stationed in San Francisco, Alaska, Hawaii, and Guadalcanal.
He was a professionally certified welder and after leaving the army was employed by Star Welding and Consolidation Coal Company’s River Division in Elizabeth.
He enjoyed gardening, spending every free moment with family, grilling out, and playing tabletop games of all kinds. He was an extraordinary storyteller about his personal experiences growing up on the family farm in Zion, PA; his travels, duties, and pranks while serving in the army, and the challenges and intricacies of early mornings spent welding on barges.
Nicknamed “King” by his fourteen brothers and sisters, he was known for showing up at family functions in the most unusual hats he could find. He took pride in decorating for the holidays, crafting toys and Halloween costumes for his son, and caring for backyard birds and other wildlife.
In addition to his wife and son he is survived by a brother, Donald Nilson; four sisters – Ruth Johnson, Virginia Anthony, Juanita Haines, and Helen Steiger; and a daughter-in-law, Noel Wilson. He was preceded in death by his parents; seven brothers – Arthur (Junior), Melvin, Paul, Merle, Russell, Harold, and Kenneth; and two sisters, Lottie (Dollie) Duck and Mary Crust.
There will be no public visitation due to the coronavirus pandemic. An online service will be held at a future date and time to be announced. Burial will be at Penn Lincoln Memorial on Monday, May 4, 2020. Arrangements entrusted to William H Craig Funeral Home, 3000 Versailles Ave., McKeesport, PA 15132. Condolences may be made at
The family is especially grateful for the support provided by the Greenock United Methodist Church and the kindness and dedication of Pastor Lori Walters during the past year. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Greenock United Methodist Church, 1213 Greenock Buena Vista Rd, McKeesport, PA, 15135, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Originally published May 01, 2020.

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