CAPE GIRARDEAU -- Joe Thomas "Lightning" Nelson, 94, formerly of Sikeston, died Dec. 11, 2003, at his home.
Born April 17, 1909, in Henning, Tenn., son of the late Louis Grant and Lubertha Shanks Nelson, he had lived in Missouri for over 70 years. A member of the New Bethel Baptist Church and the Harmony Lodge 40 F&AM, he was also a charter member of the Cavalier Club in Cairo, Ill. He owned People Cafe in Cape Girardeau from 1956 to 1992 and worked for Potashnick Construction for 75 years.
He was first married to Rosie Lee Nelson.
In 1942, he married Lessie Foster who preceded him in death in 1995.
Survivors include: two sons, Louis Grant Nelson of Cape Girardeau and Douglas McAuther Nelson of Chicago, Ill.; two cousins whom he raised, Geneva Bledsoe of Chicago and Rose Marie Robinson of Maywood, Ill.; and 14 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren.
Visitation is from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Masonic rites at 7:30 p.m. Monday at the New Bethel Baptist Church, where services are scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday. Johnny Thomas, pastor, will officiate.
Burial will follow in the Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.
Sparks Funeral Home of Charleston is in charge of arrangements.