East Brewton native, judge dies
By By ROBERT BLANKENSHIP - Managing Editor
East Brewton native and U.S. District Judge Edwin Nelson died on Saturday, May 17, as a result of cancer.
Nelson, 63, was born in East Brewton in 1940 and lived in the area until he joined the U.S. Navy in 1958. Upon his return from military service he attended the Cumberland School of Law. He presided in the Birmingham area for most of his life. He was a graduate of T.R. Miller High School.
Nelson's sister, Eloise Blair, resides in Alco. She said her brother had a strong work ethic and was very caring.
Blair said her brother learned that he had bone marrow cancer during the early months of this year.
Nelson served as a judge with the U.S. Federal Courts for the Northern District of Alabama for the past 30 years. He served as both a magistrate judge and later a district judge.
After leaving the Brewton area in 1958, Nelson served in the Navy aboard the USS Lloyd Thomas. He later served the Republican party of Alabama while attending Cumberland.
Nelson set up a successful private practice in Fort Payne, Ala. and returned to Birmingham in 1973 to begin his service as a magistrate judge.
In 1990, Nelson was appointed by then-President George H. Bush and was confirmed as a U.S. district judge. He remained in that position until his death.
Recently, he served as the chairman of the Automation and Technology Committee for the U.S. courts. During a period of great change in technology, he led the U.S. courts in setting policies for the use and integration of technology into the court system.
Memorial services are scheduled for Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. at the St. Simon Peter Episcopal Church in Pell City, Ala.