His service to his country during WWII was pretty important to him. We buried him in his uniform, which fit again after the radiation treatments for his lung cancer.
Dad was a Telephone Pioneer. They gave him a lifetime membership, but it didn't last long enough to suit me.
In North Carolina, when you hit age 70, you get a permanent fishing license. Permanent is forever, so just before they closed the coffin, I put it in his pocket. I think he'd like that, because he liked to go fishing.
When my father's father (Nils Reinert Nilsen aka Reinert Nils Nelson) retired from Modell's Sporting Goods store, the Modell Family gave him a gold watch (made by Longines) as a retirement present on 8-11-55. It almost sounds like a cliche--getting a gold watch at retirement--but I found the watch almost fifty years later among my father's effects, wound it, and it still works.
My sister (somehow!) found and purchased off of CardCow this postcard from Dad to a co-worker at New York Telephone. I remember walking on the tracks in front of Rohman's, looking for spikes to keep as souvenirs. And see the left side of the stairs? That was steep enough and slippery enough to be able to slide down, hanging onto the handrail above your head. And you can't see it in this picture, but on the front of the second step from the bottom on the left side, is a USGS bronze benchmark. Somewhere I have a rubbing taken from that benchmark.
There's a company which has been digitizing yearbooks. Dad graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School in 1940. I have Dad's copy, but it's cute to see that it's also available online. His entry says "RUSSELL E. NELSON-850 57th St.-Mech. Course. Intramural Handball and Football, Floor Manager's Squad, Mod. T, Service Squad, BTHS, F. Dr. Certificates.-Business, Brooklyn Polytechnic."