Obituary: Derek Lee Nelson

July 29, 1981 – July 6, 2024

Derek Lee Nelson, 42, of Waterford, died unexpectedly on Saturday, July 6, 2024.

He was born in West Allis on July 29, 1981, son of Dennis Lee Nelson and Joan Marie (Mehrwerth) Nelson-Thome.  Derek graduated from Gibraltar High School with the Class of 1999. He proudly served in the United States Army for five years. He served overseas in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was honorably discharged in 2004. Derek married Betsy Chew on June 29, 2007 in Menasha. He enjoyed watching his son participate in all his activities.

Derek will be missed by his loving wife, Betsy; son, Levi; mother, Joan Nelson-Thome; siblings and siblings-in-law, Dale and Melissa Nelson, Kelly and Jason Hougom, Angie and Brad Klipp, Debbie and Jeff Chew; niece and nephews, Isaac, Jaxon, Ivy, McCoy; and many other family members and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father, Dennis Nelson and stepfather, JR Thome.

The family will have a private graveside service to honor Derek’s life with military honors.

Casperson Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Sister Bay is assisting the Nelson family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Derek may be shared with his family through his tribute page at