May 06, 2024

Derek Ely Nelson

Posted May 06, 2024 5:33 PM
Derek Ely Nelson
Derek Ely Nelson

Derek Ely Nelson was taken from us way too early, when he passed away at the age of 38, at his residence in Merriam, Kansas, on May 1, 2024. He was born March 7, 1986, in Colby, Kansas, the son of Mark and Donnita (Weiler) Nelson. The family moved to Manhattan in 1997.

Music was a part of Derek’s life from a very early age, with piano lessons, recitals and learning to play his great-great grandfather’s violin. Derek enjoyed the significance of playing a piece of family history as the violin was brought to America when his grandfather immigrated from Czechoslovakia in the late 1800’s. Shortly after moving to Manhattan, Derek began taking Taekwondo lessons. Working through the ranks, Derek ultimately earned his Black Belt and assisted with beginner classes at the dojo he trained at.

Like many of us, Derek endured his high school years. Eager to move onto the next chapter, he took several AP courses and even attended classes at Kansas State University before graduating from Manhattan High School in 2004. He attended Kansas State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in history focusing his studies on Japanese history and the Crusades. He studied abroad at the International Summer Program at Cambridge University and Lancaster University both in the United Kingdom. While there, he spent as much time as possible exploring the countryside with classmates and participating in numerous University excursions.

Derek moved to the Kansas City area in 2015, accepting a position as a Technical Analyst for Yellow Freight. More recently, he was working as a Technology Program Analyst for Script Pro, a medical technology company in the Kansas City area.

Derek loved spending time with his family and friends. As a fan of traditions, Derek enjoyed the annual Nelson Family Christmas Eve game night, Christmas hibachi with his sister and friends, and numerous “regular,” get-togethers with individual friends. He loved National parks, the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, and weekend day trips throughout Kansas. Watching movies and a healthy mixture of both good . . . and bad TV. A sports fan, but maybe more so for the opportunity to gather, Derek enjoyed watching Chiefs and K-State games with friends and family.

Something very special about Derek was that while he was the same gentle, kind-hearted person with everyone, he also had a way of creating unique relationships and revealing a slightly different side of himself with individual friends, co-workers, and family. He will be missed for his dry, subtle sense of humor and late-night rambling conversations. Please consider sharing your stories and remembrances of Derek through the funeral home website,  emailing his sister, Megan, or with family and friends at a Celebration of Derek’s life that will be held at the family home in Manhattan, from one to four p.m., on May 11, 2024.

Survivors include his parents from Manhattan, sister Megan Nelson, and numerous, loving aunts, uncles, cousins, and extended family. Private family inurnment will be in the St. Thomas More Catholic Church Memorial Wall.