Author Topic: Nelson L. Dionne, Jr, AA1MO SK January 23rd, 2022  (Read 1012 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline W1RC

  • NEAR-Fest Founder & Benevolent Dictator.
  • Administrator
  • Extra
  • *****
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +9/-0
Nelson L. Dionne, Jr, AA1MO SK January 23rd, 2022
« on: January 25, 2022, 05:33:19 AM »
Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, as part of the City's once large French Canadian community, Nelson attended Salem High School where he first learned about the Great Salem Fire of 1914 in a Civics class. His family was personally affected by the Fire, like hundreds of other French Canadian families, leading to Dionne?s interest in Salem history and emergency service.

Dionne served with the Army Security Agency from 1965 to 1969, doing communications intercept duties He served at the 7RRFS, and at Bad Aibling, near Munich during the Vietnam era. After discharge, Dionne enrolled at North Shore Community College. He graduated with an A.S. Degree in Fire Science.

In 1978 Dionne was appointed to the Salem Police Department, which put him in a position to gather current paper. Salem at that time was undergoing massive changes due to urban renewal. In 1992, Dionne was injured while on duty as a police officer. He retired.in 1995. A series of illnesses provided the opportunity to finely read his growing collection. Unlike most collectors of Salem history, Dionne specializes in Salem?s ?Industrial Century". This era began around 1873 and ends in the 1970s. He gathered current material. As Salem began to change from a self-contained community, into a bedroom for people who are part of the regional workforce. Today quickly becomes yesterday. Better to save today for tomorrow, while things are often free for a frugal history buff. History cannot depend on having local history buffs to donate anything that is or should be saved to tell the story of us to those who will follow.

Over the years, Dionne has provided many authors and reporters with photographs and printed materials, and in 2011 he joined with Jerome Curley to publish his first book, Salem, Then & Now, for Arcadia Publishing. Eventually, after over fifty years of collecting, Dionne turned over his archive to Salem State University in 2013. He donated his collection of items suitable for display to the Salem Museum at Old Town Hall.

That same year, 2013, Historic New England, one of the nation?s oldest historic preservation organizations, awarded Dionne the coveted Prize for Collecting Works on Paper.

Nelson Dionne resides on the North Shore of Boston. He is survived by his wife, author Bonnie Hurd Smith, son Nicholas Dionne and daughter Collette Dionne.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/aa1mo


Offline W1RC

  • NEAR-Fest Founder & Benevolent Dictator.
  • Administrator
  • Extra
  • *****
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +9/-0
The Nelson L. Dionne Collection
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2022, 05:53:42 AM »
Part of Nelson?s incredible collection of photographs and other paper memorabilia connected with Salem Massachusetts.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/salemstatearchives/albums/72157637848870013/

https://archivesspace.salemstate.edu/repositories/2/resources/21

Offline W1RC

  • NEAR-Fest Founder & Benevolent Dictator.
  • Administrator
  • Extra
  • *****
  • Posts: 915
  • Karma: +9/-0
Re: Nelson L. Dionne, Jr, AA1MO SK January 23rd, 2022
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2022, 05:39:54 PM »
From the Salem (MA) News, January 27th, 2022.
Nelson Lewis Dionne Jr., formerly of Salem, died peacefully at his Peabody home on Sunday, January 23, 2022, with loved ones by his side. With unparalleled courage and determination, for many years Nelson told cancer, Parkinson?s disease, and every other medical obstacle that came his way that he was in charge?that he had work to do, books to write, and Salem history to collect. His doctors called him ?medically inexplicable,? but, eventually, his body failed him with cancer. Nelson?s spirit, however, and his boundless desire to live never left him. His work was never done.

Nelson Dionne was born in Salem on October 8, 1947 to Nelson L. Dionne Sr. and Cecile Caron Dionne. His love for Salem history was first sparked in a Salem High School civics class. What started as a postcard hobby grew over 60 years into a massive collection about Salem?s industrial century to the present. He generously provided these items plus his significant store of information to reporters, students, authors, and Salem organizations. He was frequently seen around Salem picking up present-day paper items (?Save today for tomorrow!? was one of his favorite expressions).

In 2012, Nelson donated a significant amount of what he had been collecting to Salem State University?s Archives and Special Collections. He accumulated awards for his work: from the City of Salem, Historic New England, Essex Heritage, and the Mass. House of Representatives, among others. And while Nelson?s physical abilities declined due to Parkinson?s, diagnosed in 2003, his facility with the Internet, especially eBay, only grew. Packages containing Salem history arrived almost daily.

Nelson?s first book, Salem, Then & Now, co-authored with Jerome Curley, was published by Arcadia in 2011. His other books are Salem in Stereo: Victorian Salem in 3-D (2012), Legendary Locals of Salem, co-authored with Jerome Curley and Dorothy Malcolm (2013), and Salem Through Time, co-authored with Jerome Curley (2014). In 2015, he launched a book series entitled ?Salem?s Forgotten Stories,? with co-author and designer Bonnie Hurd Smith (his future wife). Their titles to date include U. S. Coast Guard Air Station Salem, Massachusetts, 1935?1970 (2015) and Salem Serves: Sites and Stories from the Military and Patriotic Sites of Salem, Massachusetts, 1626-WWII (2019).

Nelson served in the U. S. Army from 1965 to 1969. Because of high scores on the Army?s IQ test, he was assigned first to radio communications intelligence work in Udorn, Thailand (where he was exposed to Agent Orange), and then to Army Intelligence in Bad Aibling, Germany. After the Army, Nelson qualified for membership in Mensa, a high IQ society, and went on to earn an Associate Degree in Fire Science, drive a taxi in Salem, and do local ambulance work. He volunteered for the Red Cross and took courses at the Massachusetts Civil Defense Academy. From 1978 to 1995 he served as a Salem police officer, retiring with a disability due to an on-the-job accident and became ?Mr. Mom? at home for his two children, Nicolas and Collette.

Nelson had many interests: ham radio (he held an Amateur Extra Class ham radio license; call sign: AA1MO), vintage cars, trains, trolleys, scouting, history of bicycles and firefighting, and police work. He was a member of numerous organizations (Franco-American Institute of Salem which he co-founded with Michel Michaud, Salem Athenaeum, Box 52 Association, New England Military Vehicle Collector Club, Seashore Trolley Museum, Walker Transportation Collection/Historic Beverly, North Shore Radio Association, Boston & Maine Railroad Historical Society, Boston Street Railway Association, New England Electric Railway Historical Society, among others.) He was a voracious reader and a long-time member of the South Congregational Church in Peabody.

In addition to his gift to Salem State Archives, Nelson donated material to the collections of the Walker Transportation Collection/Historic Beverly, Cape Ann Museum, Peabody Historical Society, Marblehead Museum, Danvers Archival Center, Patton History Project, UMass Archives and Special Collections, Massachusetts National Guard Archives, Massachusetts Aviation Historical Society, U. S. Coast Guard Archives, Army Transportation Museum, and the National Fire Protection Museum.

Nelson was fiercely proud of his French-Canadian heritage and his home town. He was known for his dry sense of humor, generosity, kindness, and close friendships that blurred the lines between friends and family. He will be missed especially by Salem friends Barry Swift, Carl Mesrobian, George Gagnon, Thomas Brophy, Jerome Curley, Racket Shreve, Ralph Sherrick (now in Maine), Richard Julien (now in Delaware) and Charlene Long; by Michel Michaud of Lynn, Michael Crestohl of Marblehead, and dozens more who shared his interests, profession, and military service.

He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Hurd Smith; his son Nicolas Luc Dionne of Danvers; his daughter Collette Elise Dionne of Danvers; his sisters Suzanne Dionne Hurley of Salem and Karen Dionne Lambert of Oviedo, Florida; his brother Robert Dionne of Salem; his second wife Jane A. St. Germaine Dionne of Danvers; his first wife Suzanne Natti Bernier of Hebron, Indiana; several nephews, nieces, and their families.

Nelson will be buried privately at the Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne. A Celebration of Life will take place at Salem State University Archives and Special Collections in the spring at a date to be announced. Everyone who knew him has ?Nelson stories? to tell. In lieu of flowers or gifts, he requested that donations be made to the Nelson Dionne Salem History Collection at Salem State University. To visit our guestbook and to send a message of support to his family, please visit www.LevesqueFunerals.com