NEW YORK Clifford Davis "Cliff" Nelsen, chairman emeritus and former president of Nelsen Steel Co., Franklin Park, Ill., has died at his home in Key Largo, Fla., after a brief illness. He was 85.
After graduating from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1950 with a bachelors degree in metallurgical engineering, Nelsen joined the U.S. Merchant Marine and served on a number of ships in the Caribbean before joining the family business that his father started in 1939. He moved through the ranks of Nelsen Steel, a cold-finished carbon and alloy steel bar producer, and became president in 1967, a role he held until his retirement in 1994.
Nelsen served as an alderman on Des Plaines City Council and also was a member of a U.S. Commerce Department Industry Sector Advisory Committee which advised the Commerce Secretary on trade matters. He also served on the boards of Des Plaines National Bank, Plaines Bank and Roberts Industries.
He is survived by his wife, four children and 11 grandchildren.
A memorial service is being planned for late fall. Memorial donations may be made to the Ocean Reef Club Medical Center Foundation in Key Largo, Fla., or the Hospice of the Florida Keys in Tavernier, Fla.