With Martin Nelson, there was no such thing as a conversation too long. From film and music, to art and food, no matter the topic, talking with Martin was always a fun ride that you never wanted to end.
Martin Nelson, 60, died Aug. 5, 2020, in Glenview, Illinois, from a long illness.
Martin is survived by: his wife, Karen Gaebe of Wilmette, Illinois; his step-children, George Rezek and Jane Rezek; sisters: Cindy Pinhas (Pensacola, Florida), Robin Mertins (Pensacola), and Maureen Nelson (Washington, D.C.); nephews, Aaron Pinhas, Isaac Pinhas and wife, Rebeca; and niece Kyle Mertins; sisters-in-law, Susan Everett and husband Jon, and Lauren Bakker-Arkema and husband, Peter and their families;
Martin's parents, Marvin and Marilyn Nelson, predeceased him.
Martin also leaves behind an extended family and many great friends.
As a small boy, Martin was a constant source of amusement, irritation and affection for his three older sisters, some of which lessened (or increased) as he grew older.
Originally from St. Joseph, Martin graduated from Central High School in 1978.
He attended Carnegie Mellon (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) and The American University (Washington, D.C.), graduating in 1982. He was a resident of Washington, D.C. before relocating to Chicago, where he met the love of his life, Karen, in 2007.
An independent Emmy award-winning film and video editor, Martin worked for National Geographic, NBC, CNBC, Discovery Channel, PBS, HGTV, Harpo Productions and many other producers. He edited documentaries and fictional films, as well as TV shows, true crime series, movie trailers and commercials. He created the "Godfather Minute" series of short animated films about Jewish history and holidays, which he described as "scholarly-adjacent lessons for my goddaughter, Miranda; for my great-nephew and niece, Oren and Ava; and for anyone else looking to get it wrong."
Any celebration of Martin's life would highlight his keen wit, his great taste, his puns and his colorful choice of shirts.
A man known for his incredible hair and beard and a wonderful sense of style, Martin was someone you could hear from across the room over any din and all eyes always gravitated towards him.
Martin was a great cook with flair, especially if it was spicy food, a fan of all genres of music, especially if it was Tom Waits, a voracious reader, especially if it was Michael Chabon, a lover of movies, especially if it was directed by Alan Rudolph and an avid collector of outsider art, especially if it was Lupus Garrett.
Martin has left an everlasting mark on us all. From work colleagues to close friends and family, he will be forever loved and missed.
As his wife Karen said, "He is one well-loved man and I'm lucky to call him mine." We were all lucky to call him ours.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Martin's name may be made to The National Resources Defense Council or the ACLU in support of campaign finance reform.
www.meierhoffer.com As published in the St. Joseph News-Press.