Tony Nelssen

06/06/2006 to 05/26/2010
Elected to one, four-year term, but, due to his death in 2010, did not complete his term.


Parks and Recreation Commission
Planning Commission

A tribute to the late Councilman Tony Nelssen
by Councilwoman Marg Nelssen

So, you're here in our trees,
Scents of soft earth, creosote on the breeze
Coming round through the desert you love.

You built quite a life for this family you left,
Quite the trail to follow at will.
You left us too soon, we still feel you here,
The four mules (one horse) all these dogs,
The kids and I, too.

Your mule has a hitch in her walk, a sad glint in her eye?
Though she's cared for, and petted - not 'rid'.
I know she must wonder, between grass and alfalfa,
Where have you been, not near enough, and just why?

Now there's always nine mouths to feed, every sunrise and set
And I'm missing your strong arms shifting hay.
I trust you're just fine in your 'am the light' way,
And that you know all the love that you've earned.

You served Scottsdale well, the town that loves you,
It's mountains, special deserts and folk.
You left such a mark, we hope to compare
On our next desert trail ride somewhere.

It was such a surprise, perhaps mostly for you,
And also your friends and your dears,
You couldn't just now change this hard part of life
To your own will, or wishes, or view.
Yet, you managed to do more than most while alive, what was ever right,
(So, how did you always just know?).
And you stood up for many, despite being shy,
Because the battles, sometimes rough or ill-tasting,
Were meant by their asking,
To be open, and honest, and fair.

Do you remember the June evening (we had just got the mules,
Soft light, turning golden-big sky!)
We rode out through the desert, started slow, got our legs,
Air was soft, smell of earth, life seemed beautiful; just fine?

Then your Peaches (from Missouri) and my Gator just trail grazing,
Never knowing cactus at all, miss-stepped into Cholla
Took to buckin' all over, reins broke!
And you landed quite hard.
So we chased down your mule, laughed at our greenness,
Counted blessings, and walked a bit slower towards home.
Now I guess we'll be strong today?
All your dears and your town,
And someway, today or tomorrow,
We'll learn best what to do with our days, and
Just how to serve with our lives,
And be just who we're really supposed to be.

So there's no sadder truth, (more final, or painful, or hard),
To know you had to quit us for now,
Got bigger things to do?
No matter your will, or our wants as they say.

But you did good, you are good; what we'll say now you're gone.
Please keep watch while apart and
We'll ride through our desert again.
And you can help us a little, now that you've got the better view
To choose the right paths to be on.

You built quite a life for this family you left,
Quite the trail to follow at will.
So I'll watch for snakes, and we'll honor your lead,
But, Tony, you pick the trail please, 'cause
You know the way, please, and also, we know,

That Peaches just goes better up front.

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