Fred Landress Nelms

Published 6:27 pm Wednesday, February 2, 2022

Fred Landress Nelms, 99, passed away Jan. 25, 2022. He was born in Nansemond County, the son of the late Phenious D. and Emma Pruden Nelms. He was predeceased by his three sisters and three brothers. Fred attended Suffolk High School and Paul D. Camp Community College. He was a veteran, having served during World War II and the Korean War. Fred retired from the U.S. Coast Guard Reserve as a CW04. He worked and retired as a plant supervisor from Goldkist Inc. Later in life, he joined the staff and worked as a funeral attendant for Sidney F. Harrell Funeral Home for more than 20 years. He was an active member of Bethlehem Christian Church and the Chancel Choir for more than 60 years. His service to the church included as moderator of the church Executive Board, as a member and president of the Deacon Board, and he was a Sunday School teacher for 45 years. Other memberships included the Suffolk Lodge No. 30 of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and the Mount Nebo Royal Arch Masons Chapter #20. He was a charter member, past president and honorary life member of the Nansemond-Suffolk Rescue Squad. He was a member and past president of the Bethlehem Ruritan Club; a life member of VFW Post #2582, Suffolk; and he was a member of the South of the James Golf Association. Fred loved his family and friends. His greatest joy was helping others and giving back to the community. He was a doer and loved a challenge. He would always greet others with a smile, handshake, or a hug. His favorite saying was “always be kind, it doesn’t cost anything.”

Fred is survived by the love of his life for the past 76 years, Christine King Nelms; daughters, Betty N. Harrell (Dick) and Linda N. Minnix (Jeff); grandchildren, Christy Lynn Arnemann (Eric), and William A. Nash Jr.; great-grandchildren, Emily and Allison Arnemann; and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family would like to thank Evy Thompson and Carolyn Drier for their love and care of our parents over the past several years.

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A funeral service will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 12, 2022, at Bethlehem Christian Church with the Rev. Rob Slingluff and the Rev. Wayne Gardner officiating. Following the service, a time of further fellowship will follow in Graham Hall. Burial with Masonic Rites will be private at Holly Lawn Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Bethlehem Christian Church. Condolences may be registered online at