George "Battling" Nelson, 1932-2016

THE HIGHEST HONOR (9 JUNE 2016 Sparks, Nev.) — George "Battling" Nelson, seated, holds the Walter Reuther Distinguished Service lifetime achievement award presented by United Auto Workers Local 2162/AFL-CIO on behalf of the international union. Standing, from left, Nelson son-in-law John Buzzone, daughter Zabett Nelson Buzzone, UAW Local 2162 leaders Charlie Cox, Bob Bueno (current president), Rudy Viola, Larry Wilson, Andy Armenta and Michael Nakonechni. George Nelson passed away seven days after this presentation. ( photo by Andrew Barbano, CWA 9413/AFL-CIO)

8-17-2018 —> Nelson's Last Hurrah

Latest updates from the Sparks Tribune

George's obituary
Reno Gazette-Journal 7-9-2016

Adios: George "Battling" Nelson, 1932-2016

Labor Day Parade
6 September 2010 Virginia City, Nev.

SPARKS, NEV. (16 JUNE 2016) — Our brother and César Chávez Nevada Labor Hall of Famer George "Battling" Nelson, 83, passed away this morning at his home. He was diagnosed with leukemia a few weeks ago and faded a couple of months faster than doctors predicted. We were able to get his second-to-last wish fulfilled in his lifetime. (The last, a posthumous pardon for former heavyweight champion Jack Johnson, may happen before President Obama leaves office. Please contact your senators, congressmembers and the White House.)

I got George on tape one week before his death and asked him to say "be well, raise hell" one last time.

He did it his way: "Be well. Raise hell. Have fun."

That's my man, George.

Rest in peace, great warrior, we are richer for your having passed this way.

See you in the next round, champ.

With love and laughter, in eternal solidarity and forever your friend,

Andrew "Bruiser" Barbano

—>Condolences to his family. Details here as they become available.

George's Adiós Union Meeting (he wanted it run like one) will take place at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, July 9, at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 350 Training Center, 1150 Greg Street, Sparks NV 89431. STAY TUNED.


Reno News & Review remembers George Nelson's battles
By Dennis Myers 6-23-2016

BLAST FROM THE PAST — 1969: George "Battling" Nelson stood with UAW President Walter Reuther and César Chávez at the dedication of the United Farm Workers headquarters in Delano, California

In case you wondered: The original Battling Nelson was world lightweight champion

Grand Marshal George Nelson, 2010 Virginia City Labor Day Parade

LABORING FOR LABOR DAY (6 Sept. 2010)Union members prepare for the 2010 Virginia City Labor Day Parade, the only such soirée in Nevada. Left to right are Penny Bueno (holding the yellow UAW banner) and Bob Bueno, current president of UAW 2162/AFL-CIO (with the American flag). Holding the white banner behind the Chevy are Glenda Gravelyn, left, and Rudy Viola, right, in the Indiana Jones hat. Rudy is immediate past-president of the local. Doing his best impression of Uncle Sam on steroids is Robert "Tuna" Townsend, a member of the Industrial Workers of the World union (aka "The Wobblies").

Labor Day Parade Grand Marshal George "Battling" Nelson, President of the Reno United Auto Workers Retirees, is seated in the 1957 Chevrolet behind driver Mike Murray of UAW 2162.

UNO MAS, 2013 — Brother Nelson reported that the UAW entered three General Motors products in the Monday 2 September 2013 Labor Day event: a 2014 Chevrolet Impala, a 2013 GMC Acadia Denali and a 2013 Cadillac XTS. In July 2013, the Impala received surprising rave reviews from Consumer Reports, a legendarily tough crowd. (UAW 2162 photo)



Thank you for letting us know about George. My thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones.Terry Lane, promoter of the 2010 Johnson-Jeffires Fight of the Century Centennial Celebaration, on behalf of Mills Lane and Family; New York, NY.

We lost a friend, great union man and a very nice person.Pat Sanderson, Laborers' International Union Local 169, Nevada Allliance for Retired Americans; Douglas County, Nevada.

It is with a heavy heart that I share the passing of a UAW, NARA and a true brother! George William Nelson, 1932- 2016, has passed away. He will be greatly missed by his family and the people who were the benefactors of his love of unionism and its cause. He told me he just wanted to live to see Secretary Hillary Clinton inaugurated as president. He was able to enjoy her receiving the title as presumptive Democratic nominee. He not only mentored so many of us, he was the kind of friend that just stepped in to help without being asked. Even as he passed the load to us, he always stood by with encouragement and support. I will miss his smile, I will miss his encouragement, I will miss our brother and dear friend. We lost a good one. He told me he would keep on fighting to the end, he was born a fighter  and would go out a slugger. Rest dear friend, we got it from here. Tom "T-Bird" Bird, President, Nevada Alliance for Retired Americans.

ALSO: George's daughter, Zabett (Nelson Buzzone), has informed me that George requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to NARA, 602 E. John Street, Carson City, NV 89706.

That is truly tragic news, I am so sorry. I think it is a great idea to fulfill his wishes and I would love to erect a monument at that (Moana Springs Jeffries training camp) site, similar, yet scaled down from the one I built here at the old Rick's Resort. I would be honored, I know George loves what I did here.Tim Elam, constructor of the 1910 Jack Johnson training camp monument at Mayberry and Sherwood; Reno, Nevada.



2-10-2016 — George Nelson and Guy Clifton at Reno City Hall as the Mayor and Council honor Clifton for his decades of journalistic excellence.


This is heartbreaking news to wake up to. George and I sat together at the US Olympic Trials a few months ago. What a great guy.Guy Clifton, longtime Nevada journalist and fellow boxing aficionado; Reno.



Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

SITE NAVIGATION TIPS: When all else fails, read the instructions


Navigating the flagship—>Making quick work of

Latest Breaking News & Bulletins + Almanac + Archives 1999-present

Statewide U-News Roundup  | 2000-2015 U-News Front Page Archives

Archives 1996-present

Annual César Chávez Celebration | Español

Communications Workers Local 9413 | Teamsters Local 533

The Flagger Moms of Orange Cone HellView TV spots

In Search Of... | Search

Right to Work for Less | Nevada Labor History | Sparks Centennial
Building Energy  |
100 Years of Union Apprenticeship

War Rooms | Barbwire Oilogopoly Archive|

Banks, CabbiesCable TV, Cabela's, Cancer Kids/Mining, Corporate Welfare, Energy, Health Care, ReSurge.TV, Starbucks, Wal-Mart

The Neverending Series

Un-dissing the Dead—>The campaign against forcibly-paid newspaper obituaries

Labor Links | Nevada Writers | About the Editor | Search | Deciding Factors

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential


Home Page

Top of Page

Get ahead of corporate-influenced news—>
Subscribe to Barbwire Confidential

Site designed and maintained by Deciding Factors — Signatory with CWA Local 9413 / AFL-CIO
Questions, comments and suggestions welcome

But before you do so, please read this bulletinAB

Copyright © 1982-2016 Andrew Barbano