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Francis Leroy (Bubba) Nelson

Francis Leroy (Bubba) Nelson, 78, passed away peacefully on Monday, March 16, 2020 in Venice, Florida, with his wife, daughter and son by his side. He is survived by his loving wife of 50 years, Lori; his daughter Katherine (Rahoul Ghose), son Tom (Erin) and four grandchildren, Ben (20), Lucy (17), Libby (14) and Sophie (9).

Bubba was the third of 15 children born in Chaptico, Md. to the late James Andrew “Toots” Nelson and Beatrice Tennyson Nelson. He was a loving brother to the late James Maguire “Mop Jack” (Dorothy, decd.), surviving siblings Joseph “Freddie” (Mary), Charles Bernard “Banjo”/”Manzie”, John Ira “Dink”, Mary Janet “Jody” Nelson Gray (Elmer, decd.), Thomas Allen “Sam” (Carolyn), Sylvia Nelson Gainey (Bill), Brenda Nelson Caywood (Charles, decd.), Kenneth “Ken” (Betty Lou), Robert “Wayne” (Gloria), Wallace “Wally” (Ellen), Rita Nelson Buckler (Robert), Rose Nelson Roth and Tina Nelson Bowles (Tommy). He was very close with many of his nephews and nieces – of which there are almost too many to count.

A career police officer, Bubba was one of the original Prince George’s County, Md. motorcycle officers. There, he served as an instructor and mentor to countless motor officers not only across Maryland, but the country. He participated in the torch run for the 1984 Olympics, rode in President Richard Nixon’s inaugural parade, and provided escort to numerous national and global dignitaries, including U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton; U.K.’s Queen Elizabeth II; and the King and Queen of Jordan. He competed in police motorcycle competitions nationwide, and was particularly known for his prowess in the slow ride category. Earlier in his career, Bubba served on the Hyattsville, Md. police force, was a mounted officer for the Maryland Park Police, and after his retirement from PG County, served as a civilian for the Maryland State Police.

Bubba was a man of many names. Throughout his lifetime he was known as Frank, Bubba, Leroy, Cleo, Yo-Yo and likely a few others that can’t be printed!

A true St. Mary’s County native until the end, he ate crabs and drank some Coors Light just a few days before he passed, alongside his sister, nieces, wife, son, daughter and friends.

Bubba was a guy who would do anything for anyone… and did. He leaves a lasting legacy that spans his large extended family, his police officer brotherhood, the many charitable organizations he actively supported, and legions of friends in Maryland, Florida and beyond.

Enjoy your 24/7 in heaven, Bubba. You will be missed.
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In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Tidewell Hospice (Philanthropy Department, 5955 Rand Blvd., Sarasota, FL 34238) or The Benedictine Foundation (14299 Benedictine Lane, Ridgely, MD 21660)

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