John King Nelms, 95, passed away on June 22, 2017 after a brief illness. He was born on September 14, 1921 in Granville County to the late John Henry Nelms and Daisy Hobgood Nelms. He was preceded in death by his wife of 60 years, Mary Ruth Clark Nelms, in 2009.
He was a graduate of Oxford High School and North Carolina State University where he earned a BS in mechanical engineering. After college, he served his country during WWII as a Captain in the United States Air Corps where he earned a Bronze Star.
He owned numerous businesses including a machine shop, a grading business and a dairy farm. In 1963, he became the Economic Developer for Granville County. In his 30 years as economic developer he brought over 75 businesses and industries to the county including Revlon, CertainTeed and Bandag. He served on the Board of Directors of Granville Medical Center and the Board of Trustees of Vance-Granville Community College for 35 years. He was a past president of NC Economic Development Association. He was a faithful member of Oxford Baptist Church where he led multiple Sunday School classes and served as a Deacon.
He is survived by his son, John King Nelms, Jr. and wife, Autney of Raleigh, NC; two grandchildren, Jack and Anna Clark; and nephews, Roy and John Laney. He was preceded in death by his sister, Lucille Nelms Laney.
Visitation will be Sunday, June 25th from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at Gentry, Newell & Vaughan Funeral Home in Oxford. Funeral services will be held Monday, June 26th at 2:00 pm at Oxford Baptist Church. Burial will follow at Elmwood Cemetery in Oxford.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Vance-Granville Community College Endowment Fund, PO Box 917, Henderson, NC 27536.