James Nobel Nelson

James Nobel Nelson

James Nobel Nelson

Hinesburg, Vermont

James Nobel Nelson, 66, passed away Saturday, August 6, 2022 at UVM Medical Center in Burlington with loved ones by his side.

Jimmy was born March 9, 1956 in Burlington, the son of the late Peter J. and Evelyn (Wyman) Nelson.

He graduated from Mt. Abraham Union High School in 1974.  He worked with his mother and Mitch Kelley on the family farm in Starksboro.  At other times he worked as a truck driver and excavator, bartender, and later drove a taxicab and became a dispatcher. 

Music was his lifelong passion.  He played guitar from his teens.  In the early days he was a member of the Blue Flames band and later played lead guitar for Short Notice.  He wrote volumes of songs.  In 2019 he recorded a cd of his original songs.  In recent years, he enjoyed playing open mic at various venues.  A long-time friend and fellow bandmember described Jimmy’s music as “pure sonic joy.  When he was on, he’d kind of close his eyes and you could almost see the music going into him and coming out through his fingers as he played that Tele.  Pure magic.”

Jimmy was a contemplative person who observed, listened, discussed, and sought truth and meaning in the world and the people around him.   He loved to laugh, and he found and shared humor in the daily business of life with his people.  He was a bright light, a multi-faceted Brother Diamond, and he will be greatly missed by those who were privileged to walk with him on the journey.

He lived on the shore of Lake Iroquois in a third-generation family home, in a small community of long-time neighbors and friends, a few of whom braved the harsh Vermont winters there alongside him.  They co-operated as a community to maintain their road, and they looked out for and helped one another.  Jimmy took on the job of plowing the road in wintertime.  Though he was inexperienced at first, after many snowfalls he plowed like a pro and almost elevated it to an artform.  During power outages he was the guy who would lend you his generator to run a space heater in your house.

He could be crochety and come out of his house ranting and then laugh at himself.  He could be redneck and then tell you about the healing powers of beets and ayurveda.  He loved Gunsmoke, and his cat Roger who kept her name even after it came to light that Roger was a girl.  He loved his family, his friends, and the people on the cancer floor of the UVM Medical Center.  He was an old-time Vermonter with roots going back generations, and a modern-day musician, and many things in between.  He will be greatly missed by the many people who knew and loved him.

He was predeceased by his parents, Peter J. Nelson I and Evelyn (Wyman) Nelson, his uncle Harvey Farr and cousin Nobel Farr.

He is survived by his Aunt Eleanor (Wyman) Farr of Windsor, step-mother Sandy Booth and her husband Ralph Booth, brothers Mark Nelson and Peter J. Nelson II and sister Lora (Nelson) Gordon, all of Bristol, sister Angie (Nelson) LaForest of Cadyville, NY, cousins Peter A. Nelson, Neil Nelson, Carlene (Nelson) Provoncha, Harvey Farr, Philip Farr, and Susan (Farr) Bulkeley and all their families, nieces and nephews Amanda Nelson, Josh Nelson, Jennifer Gordon, Lucas LaForest and Alex LaForest, three grandnieces Kali, Oakley, and Hazel, his dear and long-time friend Terri “Mother Theresa” Severance, and many other special friends, neighbors, and fellow musicians.

 A graveside service will be held Sunday August 14 at 2:00 pm at Greenmount Cemetery in Starksboro.

A celebration of Jimmy’s life will be held Saturday August 20, 3:00 – 7:00 pm at the barn at Sentinel Farms, 4118 Rt. 116 in Starksboro.  There will be a service and time of sharing remembrances, socializing, and music.  A light meal and soft drinks will be provided.

To send online condolences to his family please visit www.brownmcclayfuneralhomes.com.

5 1 vote
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Sarah S Lathrop
1 year ago

Lora, my heart goes out to you. I’m so very sorry for your & your families loss. Although I didn’t know your brother personally, I can tell what a kind face & smile he had. You and your family are in my heart. ❤️

Deborah Loftus
1 year ago

I’m very sorry for the loss of this wonderful human. Condolences to your family.


Judy Bissonette
1 year ago

RIP Jimmy. You will be missed by so many friends and family.

Nancy Kenyon
1 year ago

Every year for as far back as I can remember Jimmy send me a Happy birthday text. I’m missed that this year and will miss it for all my birthdays to come.. We went to high school together and graduated in the class of ‘74. I feel so sad that he has left this world. I know his rocking down in Heaven.

Chris Casey
1 year ago

I’ll miss Jimmy. I was in that Blue Flames band with him and for numerous jam sessions. I’ll miss visiting him at the lake, his kind soul and hearty laugh. Until we meet again. Peace

Jody Ciano
1 year ago

It was a sad day learning about Jimmie’s passing. I spoke with him the night before and he was in good spirits. We talked about his upcoming cd and laughed about a 100 other things. I was his neighbor and friend for more than 20 years. We left our lights on in the winter to signify that we were home and not alone in the hood. We visited often for coffee and had many a meal together during those three months of darkness as he called it. We weathered many a storm together, physically, mentally and spiritually. The neighborhood will never be the same without him there. I planned on visiting him on Tuesday but was too late. I’m grateful we talked the night before and got to exchange I love you man, I love you man! RIP my friend.

Susie Boise
1 year ago

Jimmy was a great guy! Loved by all.

Bib Recupero
1 year ago

I’m going to miss Jimmy’s smile and good conversations about music.

Brown Mcclay Funeral Homes