OAKLAND — Once upon a time, a handsome young man crossed paths with a beautiful young woman while sharing a bus ride along a winding road to a local high school basketball game between Southern and Elk Garden. It was love at first sight and the beginning of a beautiful love story between James William Nelson and Minnie Pearl Sharpless Nelson.
James, known as Bill to family and friends, is the oldest of James and Olive Nelson’s four children. After high school, he enlisted in the Navy where he was trained to be an electrician. He was stationed in Norfolk, Va. Minnie, the second youngest of Herbert and Pearl Sharpless’ 10 children, moved to Washington, D.C. after high school to work and experience city life for a while.
They were married in Mount Zion Methodist Church on Nov. 12, 1960, with family and friends in attendance. They began their married life together in Norfolk, but knew that they wanted to settle and raise their family back home in Garrett County, where they reside to this day.
Bill worked out of the Cumberland IBEW until his retirement. Minnie devoted her life to raising her family and taking care of her parents. They are the proud parents of three daughters, Billie, Lori, and Sheri, and beloved Meme and Pappy to Olivia, Caleb, Paige, and Gavin.
Minnie and Bill were active members of the Oakland Order of the Eastern Star. Bill was also a member of the Oakland Masonic Lodge, Ali Ghan Shrine, and Jesters.
After the birth of their youngest daughter, Bill convinced Minnie to build a new home, which was built with their own blood, sweat, and tears.