Howard Alexander Nelson passed away on April 5, 2020, in New Orleans of the coronavirus. 

He was born on July 18, 1935, in Memphis and grew up in Greenwood. He was predeceased by his parents, Elmer Draughon and Dr. Howard A. Nelson. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Harriet Hurley; his three sons, Howard A. Nelson III (Jennifer), John Edward Hurley Nelson (Serena) and Murray Pearce Nelson; his two sisters, Mary Elmer “Sis” Nelson Poindexter and Gladys Augusta “Gan” Nelson; his grandchildren, Julia Keller Nelson, Murray Pearce Nelson Jr. and Annalyse Victoria Nelson; and nine nieces and nephews. He will be fondly remembered by Keith Jordan and Richard Walker, whom he also considered family.

After graduating from Greenwood High School, Howard went to college at Princeton University, receiving a B.A. in English in 1957. Following family tradition, he earned his M.D. from Tulane University Medical School in 1962. Howard served in the Navy from 1963 to 1965, attaining the rank of lieutenant commander. Upon returning to New Orleans, he completed his residence in surgery at Charity Hospital and ultimately became the chief resident. He then joined Dr. Samuel Logan in private practice for 34 years, during which time he was the chief of staff of West Jefferson Hospital.

He was the permanent class agent for his Tulane medical school graduating class and was the president of the Tulane Medical Alumni Association from 1987 to 1988. He was an adjunct assistant professor in the Tulane Department of Surgery and Clinical Medicine, was a member of the Tulane School of Medicine Admissions Committee and served on the Tulane Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Howard was a strong advocate for health care policy, serving as president of the West Jefferson Medical Society, treasurer and president of the Louisiana State Medical Society, and an alternate to the AMA House of Delegates for several years before retirement. He was chairman of the LAMPAC for many years.

Howard was a parishioner of Trinity Church and volunteered at Trinity School in the Trinity Educational Enrichment Program (TEEP), an activity he enjoyed thoroughly. 

Howard was a true gentleman. He appreciated the finer things in life — good food, wine, traveling, good jokes and being surrounded by friends and family. He will be sorely missed for his kindness, his humor and his generosity of heart and spirit.

A memorial service will be held at a future date. In lieu of flowers, please consider gifts to the Tulane Medical School Endowment Fund, Trinity Episcopal Church of New Orleans or a charity of your choice.

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