Derrick Nelson
1975 - 2019
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Derrick Nelson, a high school principal at Westfield High School in New Jersey, died on Sunday, April 7, after having undergone a procedure to donate bone marrow to a 14-year-old boy in France. Nelson, who was known for his generosity and community service, told the Westfield student newspaper before the procedure: “If it’s just a little bit of pain for a little bit of time that can give someone years of joy, it’s all worth it.”

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Published in The Durango Herald on Apr. 12, 2019.
Memories & Condolences
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165 entries
May 31, 2019
To the Nelson Family,

I'm so sorry, I wasn't aware of the passing of Principal Nelson. Words can't even describe the pain for the loss of such a wonderful & genuine person. There's not one person I could imagine that wasn't blessed to have met or known him. He will always have a special place in the hearts of his students. It takes a special person like Principal Nelson to be an effective teacher, mentor and friend. My condolences to you all.
April 27, 2019
My heartfelt condolences go out to the Nelson family , it's amazing how many lives can be touched in a few short years.
Please read 2 Cor 1:4 and may God continue to give you comfort.
Bryant Marks
April 22, 2019
With a heavy heart on hearing of the tragic loss our of your loved one. Time and unexpected events overtake us all as written in Ecclesiastes 9:11. Please take comfort in knowing that our loving Creator shares in your sorrow .
Paula K.
April 22, 2019
We send our deepest condolences to Derricks' family and those who knew him. It's very sad to hear the way he passed but his act of kindness will not be forgotten. May you look to God for comfort. 2 Cor. 1:3.
April 20, 2019
My Deepest Condolences to the Family and Friends of this very loving and kind Gentleman
Sylvia Matsushima
April 19, 2019
Mr. Derrick is a REAL hero. This man had the compassion to put his life in danger for someone else. Sadly, it cost him his life. I feel so sorry for his family, but no one can take away the fact that Mr. Derrick was a very rare, exceptional person. All of us can learn from his selflessness. My God bless him and his family.
Bill Lawlor
Friend
April 19, 2019
God bless ...
April 18, 2019
IT IS ALLWAYS A SAD DAY TO LOSE A FELLOW VETERAN MAY GOD BLESS DERRICK AND HIS FAMILY IN THIS TIME OF NEED SGT. LEON BUCZYNSKI US. AIR FORCE RET, OF NORTH EAST, PA
LEON BUCZYNSKI
Friend
April 18, 2019
PRAYER ARE WITH YOU'LL!
ELDER JOE COLSON, JR AND FAMILY
April 17, 2019
Heartfelt condolences to the family. May God strengthen and comfort his loved ones in this difficult time. Keep his memories close at heart. Thoughts and prayers.
April 17, 2019
What a kind, generous man.
Kandy Crowe
April 17, 2019
Condolences to the Nelson Family.
Ed Whatley
April 17, 2019
I did not know Principal Nelson, I do know, God has many Blessings to his family stored for such an unselfish act of giving. May you forever be remembered!
Earlene Coleman-Hales
April 17, 2019
My sincerest condolences to the Family and friends. May Derrick continue to live on in your hearts and in your memories. And may you all continue to rely on God in this time of grief because he will strengthen you.
Page
April 17, 2019
May your hearts soon be filled with wonderful memories of joyful times together as you celebrate a life well lived.
Juneil & Carl Flemming
April 17, 2019
My daughter is a former student, Westfield HS, and has nothing but great things to say about Dr. Nelson. She remembers how he organized the HBCU college open house bus tour for the students. He really cared about the students, the minority students had someone in their corner, who really cared for them. Years later we saw him in the pediatricians ofc with his daughter, he remembered Sabra and chatted with her for a few minutes. One of a kind person, he will be so missed. Rest in peace.
Jill Anderson
Acquaintance
April 17, 2019
"Greater love hath no man than to give his life for another"
Thank you all your great service in this life.
Leona Watson
April 17, 2019
Such a kind act of humanity will not go
unrewarded. GOD sent this gentle and loving man to show us all what real love and sacrifice is. GOD bless you and your family Sir. Peace in eternal life :)
Lew Hypes
April 17, 2019
I didn't know Derrick,but OMG,what an amazing Young Man ! A HERO ;my deepest sympathies to his family
Paula McGrath
April 17, 2019
I am so proud of Derrick , Many people never think twice about the life of a stranger.You did this is the markof a real hero.. I work indirectly with veterans who are goibg to transplant evaluations in many cities in the United States. It takes a lot to prepare to be a donor and its a noble task. You were also a veteran so I salute you twice over sir....
Donna Ray
April 17, 2019
Thank you Sir for such a kind and wonderful gift. I am sure the family is thankful but I am also sure you will be missed. The world needs more people like you. May you rest in peace and God Bless you and your family.
Sandy Bretz
April 17, 2019
What a wonderfully unselfish sacrifice! God has welcomed you sooner than expected but you have earned a place among his angels.. Thank you Derrick Nelson for caring and condolences and prayers to your family. You can rest in peace knowing you helped another..
Mary McCulley
April 16, 2019
Derrick Nelson, your magnificent soul will live on in all of us. Derrick you are unforgettable. Thank you for all the gifts you left us with, kindness, generosity, and courage.
Irasema Sequeira
Acquaintance
April 16, 2019
What a wonderful, heroic man! God Bless his family and rest In peace Derrick Nelson....
Heidi Reyburn
April 16, 2019
May you rest in peace. God take care of your family on earth. Love and prayers with all.
Debbie Oakley
April 16, 2019
A life well lived! Well Done my good and faithful servant..well done.
Tracey Roudez
Friend
April 16, 2019
If I can help somebody along the way. Then my living will not be in vain. And that you did! My condolences to your family and friends. RIP, Mr Derrick Nelson
Sharon Johnson
April 16, 2019
What a brave and selfless act! Derrick will be remembered for his kind heart and his giving spirit! May your memories of your beloved Derrick help you at this sad time. He was loved and admired by many. May the God of all comfort, comfort you during this time of sadness. I also pray for you to have peace. (Isaiah 61:1, 2)
Franklin family
April 16, 2019
My condolences to the family, friends,staff and students of Mr. Nelson. Death at any age is hard so Please let God's love soothe your aching hearts.
April 16, 2019
Condolences to family,friends and students.
May you gain support and prayers to sustain you at this difficult time.
Isaiah 57:15
April 16, 2019
A self sacrificing spirit is a sign of beauty when done with a good motive and the right spirit. May Derricks family and friends be comforted in knowing that he was in good company. When our Lord and Savior gave up his life it too was with the right motive and spirit to save life ( John 3:16). What a beautiful example to leave behind. Please accept my sincere condolences.
D B
April 16, 2019
To the Family, So very sorry for your loss. Cherish the memories and the many precious moments you had with Derrick. He was a true Hero and an Angel. God Bless him
April 16, 2019
My sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. May you find comfort in knowing that those who die God keeps in his memory because they are precious in his eyes.
Psalms 116:1
Lee
April 16, 2019
Sorry to here about your lost, my deepest condolences goes to the family, but we will see our beloved brother again.
April 16, 2019
So sorry for the loss of your dear loved one. Heartfelt condolences are with the family. May our heavenly Father supply you with endurance and courage as needed each day. Colossians1:11. May the wonderful memories you shared bring you much comfort. Deepest sympathy!
Lmb
April 16, 2019
So sorry for the loss of this truly brave and generous man. What an example for all of us! Sincere condolences.
Yvonne
April 15, 2019
God bless you sweetheart. You died doing something that will give another person life. There is a special place in heaven for you. Good man.
April 15, 2019
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Alishia
April 15, 2019
Make you rest in peace with the angels.
Stephanie Schell
April 15, 2019
Very brave donating bone marrow to a total stranger.
Stephanie Schell
April 15, 2019
My prayers to the family of Derrick Nelson. Such strength and courage. He truly earned his wings in heaven. May God Bless
Marvel Ellison
April 15, 2019
Prayers and Condolences to his family.
Laurie Johnson
April 15, 2019
Everyone should pay homage to such an amazing human being. May God bless all of his family as they mourn his passing and celebrate his amazing life.
Gloria Stapleton
April 15, 2019
The Shepperon Family Atlanta Georgia
April 15, 2019
This was such as selfless and compassionate act. God will not forget the work and love he showed for others.
April 15, 2019
Thoughts of sympathy are with you today Numbers 6:24-26
April 15, 2019
My condolences to your family. As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends. God gives a comforting guarantee at John 6:40 that our loved ones are in God's memory for a ressurrection. What a wonderful hope for the future.
G M
April 15, 2019
Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? We should not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. Mr. Nelson loved the way Jesus loved. Rest in Peace, the Nelson family are in the prayers of many.
Patricia Brown
April 15, 2019
Derrick & Family

May You Soar With The Angels And May Your Generosity Love & Compassion For Ever Surround Your Family Friends & Aquaintances
Derrick Your Smile Speaks A Thousand Words - Tho I Have Never Met You I Can Only Phantom Your Unselfish Ways Carried On In The Heavenly Sky


Rest In Peace Derrick
April 15, 2019
May his memory be a blessing
RICHARD RABINOWITZ
April 15, 2019
Sir, your last act on this earth was one of selfless sacrifice for another human being. May God bless your family, and may your deeds bring them comfort in the days ahead. Fly high, Sir!
Brenda Main
April 15, 2019
I am very sorry to hear of Derrick death. The many family and friends who loved him are remembering the many wonderful deeds that came from his heart. My deepest condolences to all who personally knew him.
A. S.
April 15, 2019
What a great HERO. May God Bless him.
Connie Simmons
April 15, 2019
So so sorry to hear that such a wonderful act of kindness ended so tragically. He sounds like a wonderful man and truely deserves to be remembered.
Margaret Finn
April 15, 2019
people like this man will make America great again, rip
April 15, 2019
True HERO in every since of the word. May God bless and keep the family. The world would be a better place if everyone had the heart of this man. RIP
April 15, 2019
My deepest sympathy for your loss. May God be a source of comfort during this challenging time of sorrow. Please take comfort from the words of Psalms 94:19 " When anxieties overwhelmed me, you comfort and soothed me."
Patricia Chavis
April 15, 2019
Mr. Nelson followed the example of Jesus by sacrificing himself for the lives of others. Its wonderful knowing he will live again in paradise on earth. I am very sorry to learn of his loss.
Neighbor
April 15, 2019
My sincere condolences to the family. I did not know you loved one but I am sorry for your loss. Derrick indeed made a great sacrifice. A greater sacrifice was also made in his behalf. John 3:16. Again my deepest sympathy for your loss.
A G
April 15, 2019
My deepest condolences to the Nelson family and friends, so sorry for your loss. May all of you find comfort and strength from God to help you through this difficult time, know that the generosity showed will not be forgotten by God.
RB
April 15, 2019
You are a good man! RIP. You made the ultimate sacrifice and you will forever be remembered and cherished by all whom you touched - even people like me that didn't know you. Wear your Halo and wings with pride as you watch and guide from above.
Deb F
April 15, 2019
This generous man was a hero...and the world is a lesser place without him. Rest in Peace.
Robert Barnes
April 14, 2019
Derrick has accepted a promotion.
arnold sampe
Acquaintance
April 14, 2019
Greater love hath no man than this, that a MAN lay down his love for his friends. John 15:13
K Mattox
Acquaintance
April 14, 2019
What a True HERO he was ! I am from Odessa, TX. I am also an Registered Nurse. Only a HERO WOULD GIVE HIS LIFE FOR ANOTHER❤ I pray for his family and friends. He will be missed by the students and
Faculty ❤
Sincerely, Carolan,RN
April 14, 2019
This man had a real compassion to help someone in need . God Bless him .Prayers to his family and friends . He is with God .
Jenny Morrill
April 14, 2019
I was first introduced to Dr. Nelson when my son was in middle school. I was immediately impressed and could see that he loved his job. Always greeting parents and students with a smile from ear to ear and a warm, gracious and enthusiastic demeanor. During that time my son came home and told me that Dr Nelson would be leaving temporarily to serve his country in Afghanistan and I thought that this was an incredible man and a wonderful role model for our children. When my son moved up to the high school , I was thrilled to see that Dr. Nelson was there also. What a blessing! My son also was hoping that he would be named principal as he said he was so warm and approachable and really cared and engaged with the students. Dr Nelson was given that position and we were thrilled. My son graduated with Dr Nelson giving a inspiring and uplifting commencement speech and then graciously stayed to take pictures with many of the graduates.
We were so saddened to hear of his untimely passing . He has left a legacy to all the people he has touched on his short time on earth. He was truly a hero, putting others before himself. He has left a unforgettable impression through a life of sacrifice and love. We are forever grateful and thankful to have known him. We pray that God would comfort his family and friends.
Cathy, Robert, Nick and Rob
April 14, 2019
This is a real leader of the black culture!!!! Our heavenly father has BLESSED THIS MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!
April 14, 2019
My thoughts and prayers go out to this Beautiful man and his loved ones. May they find Peace in knowing that there is true giving in this world.
Lisa Chambers
April 14, 2019
What a wonderful man! God Bless you! RIP!
April 14, 2019
What a self-sacrificing spirit he had. My sincere condolences to Derricks family, such a sad loss. In line with Rosas photos, I look forward to the day when we will see him again.
Neighbor
April 14, 2019
A man among men!
Norma Nelson
April 14, 2019
poor guy nothing but respect the world needs more people like Derrick
dan young
April 14, 2019
Prayers and love to the Nelson family.
Michael Driscoll
Friend
April 14, 2019
Your kindness, good deed and ultimate sacrifice will not go unnoticed. May GOD bless you eternally and I pray peace upon your family and friends here on earth. I pray the young man in France lives on to do great things in honor of Derrick Nelson.
Marilyn Gregory
April 14, 2019
Sounds like he was a great man. My condolences to his family. May he rest in peace.
Helen Quinn
April 14, 2019
Thank you for paying the ultimate price . Your life lives on in the young boy whose life you saved. My prayers and peace to your family.
Jo Thomas
April 14, 2019
Another good heart goes to the heavens we thank you Mr. Nelson May God bless you and may God bless the Nelson family.david
david brealpensacola
April 14, 2019
God Bless this sweet sweet angel! What a true hero! Wish I had known him!
Diane Paul
April 14, 2019
God bless you and may you rest in peace.
nick c
April 14, 2019
pat
April 14, 2019
Martha Peden
April 14, 2019
c r
April 14, 2019
May God be with you on your journey.
Sheila
April 13, 2019
May God Bless and Comfort your family. God, please put your loving arms around the family, friends, and students and help them during this time of sorrow and always. Sir, we thank you for the service that you not only gave to our country but also to the students that you taught and guided. Thank you for the gift of life you gave to the young man in France. Stand down your job is done. RIP ( I would have liked to have met this kind and wonderful man.)
ANN HAMRIC
Friend
April 13, 2019
As the days and weeks pass, and as you return to life's routine, may you continue to feel comforted by the love and support of family and friends.
April 13, 2019
April 13, 2019 My heart felt condolences goes out to the family and friends of Derrick Nelson. May God, Hearer of Prayer, continue to be with you each and every day in your time of sorrow.
Cheryl Auflick
April 13, 2019
I was not fortunate enough to know this fine young man who was younger than my two daughters when he left this world too soon but, the, we do not know all of God's plans. I cannot begin to imagine losing either of my daughters. "Hero" is defined in many ways and this young man is the epitome of what a hero truly is. God bless you. I will keep your family, friends and you in my prayers. I also pray that the young man in France benefits from this selfless sacrifice and moves forward to better this world in honor of your sacrifice.
Susan Smith
April 13, 2019
Such a wonderful story. He made the ultimate sacrifice. I didn't know him, but I sure would love to have. God bless his family.
Doris
April 13, 2019
May our Grand Creator keep you in his memory.
April 13, 2019
Bill Dickerson
April 13, 2019
My heart goes out to you at this time and in the days ahead.
Annie Horne
April 13, 2019
You Sir were an Angel on Earth....you are now home . Well Done Good & Faithful Servant ..
Deb Walter
April 13, 2019
Rest easy Mr.Nelson! Didn't Know you but,you had to be an awesome guy.
Tom
April 13, 2019
What a legacy to leave behind for your family and friends!!! You are a true inspiration to mankind!!!

Lavette Howell
April 13, 2019
May the God of all comfort be with the family and give you peace.
April 13, 2019
Rev. Rhonda Grant Jordan
April 13, 2019
May his memory be an eternal blessing.
Karen Sern
Acquaintance
April 13, 2019
Mr. Nelson is a hero I never met but whose unselfish actions inspired us all. My condolences to his family, his staff and students. May the memories of his life lead others to love, share and sacrifice unconditionally, as he did.
Rosario Santiago, former educator
April 13, 2019
May the God of all comfort be with Derrick family in your time of sorrow.
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