John F. "Jack" Nelson III, 58

October 10, 2009

JULY 30, 1951-OCT. 8, 2009

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - John F. "Jack" Nelson III, age 58, of 1956 Bell Ave., Chambersburg, died Thursday, Oct. 8, 2009, at Chambersburg Hospital.

Born July 30, 1951, in Apollo, Pa., he was a son of John F. Nelson II of New Bern, N.C., and the late Dorothy Urash Nelson.

A veteran of the Pennsylvania National Guard, Jack was a graduate of Bucknell University, and he earned his juris doctorate from Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pa. The current Franklin County District Attorney, Jack was the longest-serving elected official in the county, and he was the second-longest-serving district attorney in Pennsylvania state history. He was a member of the Franklin County Bar Association, the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association, and very active in countless criminal justice committees within the county. He was also the creator of the Franklin County Drug Task Force.


Among his other affiliations, he was a member of the Chambersburg Club, the Marine Corps League and Charles Nitterhouse VFW Post 1599. Jack enjoyed going fishing. He loved attending his children's sporting events, many of which he coached as his children grew up. He was an avid Pittsburgh sports fan, always supporting the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins, but most of all, the Pitt Panthers. He was also a proud Parrot Head, or Jimmy Buffett fan. Jack was a greatly revered attorney, a devoted husband and father, a loyal friend, and he will be loved and missed by all.

He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Tracy Leidig Nelson, whom he married Dec. 28, 1986; four children, Maureen (and husband, Ryan) Smith of Spokane, Wash., Kate Nelson of Baltimore, Md., and John C. Nelson and Samantha Nelson, both of Chambersburg; and two sisters, Patricia Nelson of Shank, Pa., and Judy (and husband, Steven) Sykora of Florida.

Jack's memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2009, at First United Methodist Church, 225 S. Second St., Chambersburg, with the Rev. Dianne B. Salter officiating. Interment will be private. The family will receive friends from 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 11, and from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 12, at Thomas L. Geisel Funeral Home, 333 Falling Spring Road, Chambersburg.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of one's choice.

Condolences may be expressed at

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