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Parcena Reid Nelson

December 31, 1938 ~ May 31, 2020 (age 81)


Parcena Reid “Tina” Buckley Nelson, daughter of Parker Reid Buckley, Sr. and Miriam Buckley, born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, passed away peacefully on Sunday, May 31, 2020 after an extended illness, with her children, Teresa and Doug, by her side. 


Tina graduated from Murphy High School and attended Auburn University before transitioning to her career in Civilian Service in the field of Administration.  Tina’s Civilian career began 1962 at Carswell Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas and spanned decades until she retired from service at both Eglin Air Force Base and Hurlburt Field in 1990.  Among many positions Tina served over the course of her career, those most important to her were in the Office of Personnel, the Math Lab, Special Ops, and Protocol at Eglin, of which she was most proud and considered it the most honorable and rewarding position of her career.


In 1959 Tina met the love of her life, William D. “Bill” Nelson, Sr. while working at Springfield College in Mobile, Alabama.  Tina and Bill moved to Fort Walton Beach in 1968. Tina immediately became very active in the community and social activities. She held every officer position in Beta Sigma Phi International Sorority; was past Chair of the Okaloosa County Crusade for the American Cancer Society, the Okaloosa County March of Dimes Walkathon, the American Heart Association Ball and Art Auction, and the Greater Fort Walton Beach Island Mardi Gras Parade. She also served as a past president of the local Auburn Club, served as both corresponding and recording secretary for the Fort Walton Women’s Club, and was a committee member and annual contributor to Children in Crisis. Alongside her beloved husband, Bill, Tina enjoyed Krewe of Bowlegs festivities for more than forty years, where together they served on the Honor Guard 1979-1980, and first mate and mistress 1982-1983.


One of the family’s favorite memories is the way Bill described Tina the first time he saw her, “I saw this bubbly blonde bouncing down the sidewalk at Springfield College and had to know who she was, so I followed her into the office and asked the associate at the front door who she was and learned her name.  From that moment, I pursued her, although my brothers told me she was way out of my league. Today she is still the most beautiful woman I’ve ever known.”  The photo posted with this announcement was Bill’s favorite of Tina taken in the early days of their marriage, and chosen by the family in honor of the very special love they shared. 


Tina and Bill were married at Auburn on December 15, 1961 and remained married until Bill passed on March 11, 2015.  Tina is survived by: daughter, Teresa Nelson-Helwig; son, Doug Nelson, and daughter-in-law, Jennifer Nelson; granddaughters, Aubrey Nelson and Layla Nelson; and brother, Parker Buckley, Jr. The family would like to thank Emerald Coast Hospice, the staff of Somerby of Santa Rosa Beach and the many members of the Beta Sigma Phi Sorority, as well as neighbors for the care and kindness provided during these last several years, which are greatly appreciated and have been a blessing.


A Celebration of Life will be planned at a later time in the fall of 2020.  Arrangements are under the direction of Emerald Coast Funeral Home. 

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