Nelson David Edgerly Sr.

Published 6:30 pm Friday, August 6, 2021

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Nelson David Edgerly Sr., a lifelong resident of  Port Arthur, TX, passed away August 5, 2021 at his home in Port Arthur, Texas.

Nelson was born September 5, 1933 to Alvin Louis Edgerly and Lottie Mae Boutte.

Nelson attended St. Mary’s  Elementary School and graduated from Bishop Byrne High School in 1952.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Nelson shared many stories of fond childhood memories, including playing marbles with his friends, visiting his family’s farm in Lidia, Louisiana, and driving the horse-drawn cart to bring water to those working in the fields.

Nelson, a smart student and handsome man, was selected in 1951 as a future leader by The Port Arthuran.

Although popular, Nelson met his match when Shirley Landry pulled his hair in high school chemistry class.

He was immediately and perpetually smitten with Miss Landry, and the two were married September 20, 1952.

Nelson joined his father, Alvin, and began working at the Texaco oil refinery.

Nelson held various positions including operator and welder.

But Nelson’s true talents lay in his passion and ability to advocate for his fellow laborers.

Nelson, a loyal union member of Local 423 from 1952-2013, first served as a substeward.

He served as Chairman of the Texaco Workman’s Committee from 1968-1978 and was a convention delegate and COPE delegate from 1968-1993.

He continued to serve his union brothers and sisters of Local 423 as Secretary-Treasurer (1975, 1980-1982) and as President (1983-1991, 1993).

Nelson was active in the Democratic Party, served as his precinct chair, and served as a delegate to Democratic National from Texas, 2004.

Nelson retired in 1995 and spent many hours enjoying his property on Pleasure Island, where he became the world’s best grass cutter.

Nelson believed in the Catholic dictum “propagate the faith” and that a man’s immortality could be found through his progeny.

To ensure his immortality (and have a large work crew for future projects), Nelson and Shirley bore 9 children.

Both parents valued Catholic education, so all of the Edgerly children attended St. Joseph’s Elementary School and graduated Bishop Byrne High School.

Nelson, a staunch Democrat, instilled in his children the importance of civic engagement and that the right to vote was considered a great equalizer.

As a lesson in voting, Nelson allowed the family to vote on which TV program to watch, but as a lesson in inequality Nelson’s vote counted for 50% plus 1, earning him the moniker “Magnus Rex.”

Nelson created an orchard on his property with numerous orange, grapefruit, tangerine, and kumquat trees, the bounty of which he shared with family and friends.

Nelson loved his family, his dogs (Romulus, Remus, and Denver), and his homestead, including a gazebo which he expertly designed and which was constructed under his supervision by his boys.

Nelson David Edgerly, Sr. leaves behind his loving wife of almost 70 years, Shirley Ann Landry Edgerly and his children Davette Colichia and husband Danny of Bridge City, Cheryl Hebert of Port Arthur, Lynette Lindner and husband Mark of Cheshire, CT, Nelson Edgerly, Jr. and wife Cheryl of Groves, Tammy Edgerly of Austin, Michael Edgerly of Port Neches, Alvin Edgerly and wife Vickie of Orange, Ragan Edgerly and wife Kristine of Austin, and Susan Martinez and husband Glenn of Austin.

Nelson also leaves behind 32 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren. Nelson is preceded in death by his parents Alvin and Lottie Mae Edgerly, brother Jewel Howard Edgerly, and son-in-law Carson Hebert.

A visitation for Nelson David Edgerly, Sr. will be held at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home on Sunday, August 8, 2021 at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m., with a rosary to be prayed at 6:30p.m.

A funeral mass will be held at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church on Monday, August 9, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. followed by entombment at Greenlawn Memorial Park.

Memorial donations may be made to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church.

To protect the health of those attending the visitation and service, masks are required.