Philip Earl Nelson, 75, of Camden died Feb. 23, 2010, at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport after a brief illness. Born in Cumberland Center on Dec. 15, 1934, he was the son of Robert and Helen (Emery) Nelson and was a 1953 graduate of Greely High School. He played basketball and baseball during high school and while attending Portland Junior College, he was a member of the basketball team. He grew up on a poultry farm in Cumberland and enjoyed attending his family’s annual reunions.

For many years, he worked as a self-employed landscape contractor and enjoyed helping people during times of need. In 1997, Nelson proudly played on a softball team in the Maine Senior Olympics where his team won a silver medal.

A kindhearted man who enjoyed living a simple life, Phil could be seen driving through Camden, stopping to visit a friend, do some lawn work for someone, or to have coffee and dinner with family and friends. Phil had great respect and love and appreciation for nature and would often rescue small wild animals and creatures, taking them to a place of safe refuge. He will forever be loved and missed by his family who will cherish good memories of spending time with him.

He is survived by his three children, Aaron Nelson of Key West, Fla., Elizabeth Nelson of Camden and Khristin Nelson of Portland; one brother, Richard Nelson of California; three sisters-in-law; two cousins; and 14 nieces and nephews.

He was predeceased by his wife, Harriette Nelson who died in 1997.

A graveside service will be held in the summer in the Moss Side Cemetery in Cumberland. If desired, memorial donations may be made to the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League, P.O. Box 707, Rockport, ME 04856.

Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain St. in Camden.