August 28, 1947 - February 28, 2018

Steven James Nelson, passed away at 4:00 a.m. February 28, 2018 with his wife, Pamela and his sister, Nancy by his side.

Steven was born August 28, 1947 in Portland, Oregon to Elbert and Geraldine Nelson. His family moved to Medford in 1950. He attended Sacred Heart Elementary and graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1965. He attended Southern Oregon College (now Southern Oregon University) where he received his Bachelor of Science in Social Science and Master of Political Science in 1971.

He began his 23-year banking career in 1972, working for Jackson County Federal Savings & Loan (JCF) where he met his future wife, Mary Pamela (Howard). Pamela and Steven were married June 28, 1974 at Lithia Park in Ashland.

In 1983, Pam and Steven moved to California, where he worked for PMI Mortgage Insurance selling mortgage-backed securities. In 1985 he went to work for Drexel Burnham Lambert, serving as Vice President, Mortgage Backed Securities. He finished out his career in California managing the Secondary Mortgage Department for Bay View Federal Savings Bank.

In 1995, Steven and Pam returned to their home in Ashland. He began his new career as a financial adviser, his “perfect spot,” taking care of people, and helping them to attain their financial goals. He said it was the hardest job he would ever do, but the most rewarding. He loved going to his office at Stifel in the wee hours of the morning, having his coffee, talking to his clients, and watching the markets.

He was a voracious reader and loved music. He loved golf, most of the time, and was an avid downhill skier from the mid-1960s on. He was passionate about family, friends, his clients, fine wine, and his doggies over the years.

One of Steven’s greatest passions was his involvement with Jefferson Public Radio. Steven led the JPR Foundation through the exponential expansion of the JPR radio network, through the restoration of Redding’s historic Cascade Theatre, through the development of a new JPR studio facility on the campus of Southern Oregon University and through the community effort now underway to restore Medford’s historic Holly Theatre. His last position was President of the JPR Foundation Board, culminating over 19 years of board membership.

He leaves behind his best friend and wife of 43-1/2 years, Pamela. He is survived by his three cherished sisters, his brother, and their families, Tammy Jeffries (Steve) of Eugene, Ore.; Elizabeth Angell (Mark) their children, Ethan and Emily of Gig Harbor, Washington; Nancy Nelson of Medford, Ore.; and his brother Doug Nelson (Kathy) their son, Todd of Eugene, Ore. He leaves behind many friends made over a lifetime. He leaves behind his dogs, Shelby and Misty who brought him joy and laughter. He was preceded in death by his parents, Elbert and Geraldine Nelson and his niece, Sara Nelson Kaster.

If you would like to honor Steven in some way, please consider donations to Jefferson Public Radio (SOU), the Holly Theatre Restoration, the Jackson County Animal Shelter, or the Southern Oregon Humane Society.

The family would like to thank all the caring medical professionals who attended Steven during his illness. Dr. Sean Hehn, nurses, and staff of Hematology Oncology; doctors, nurses, and staff at Rogue Regional Medical Center; and Dr. Wendy Schilling.

A viewing will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. March 17, 2018 at Litwiller-Simonsen Funeral Home, Ashland, Ore. Burial will follow the viewing at Mountain View Cemetery. Please see their website at

A celebration of Steven’s life will be held at 2:00 p.m. April 21, 2018, at the SOU Music Recital Hall. Reception to follow at the new Jefferson Public Radio Studio.