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Elijah Nelums

October 22, 1922 ~ April 24, 2018 (age 95)

Elijah Nelums 95 of Las Vegas, NV formerly of Benton Harbor, MI transitioned on April 24, 2018. 

SUNRISE:  October 20, 1922                                                        SUNSET:  April 24, 2018

Elijah Nelums LOVED Life! At 95 ½ he made his journey to the next life where, we are certain, he was welcomed by his wife of 66 years, Ms. Bertha and countless other family and friends.

Elijah and Bertha settled in Benton Harbor, MI in 1943 where they lived for 70 years. Wherever he went, whomever he met, Elijah brought comfort and laughter through his singing and “the jokes”.  He absolutely loved his family and would jump into his Ford and travel for hours to get to his family, including those he had never met. Everyone was welcome at ‘The House’. Need a ride? Lige will take you, pick you up and go pick up your other people if you asked him.

Elijah was well-known for his work in the American Legion. He was a key figure in the development of Post 410 in Benton Harbor where he led the building project for the current location over 60 years ago. He served several terms as Commander of 410, and offices at the State level. He was a member and officer of Post 105 in Benton Harbor when he left. He maintains his membership.

In 2013, after much urging from family, he announced that “I can be a Texan” and agreed to move from to Dallas with granddaughter Dorienne and her family. After a year, he had itchy feet and moved on to Las Vegas with Ellen Wrae and Granville.

Vegas was the perfect place for “Lige”. He loved music, especially the Blues, and enjoyed music and meeting performers. He lived a full and thriving life for his 4 remaining years in Vegas and brought much light and laughter to the many friends he made.

Elijah Nelums was born to Miles and Mary Miller Nelums in Harmondale Missouri, the 6th of 9 siblings. At the age of 22 he married Bertha McDonald, moved to Benton Harbor MI where he had family.  In 1943, he entered the US Navy, Great Lakes, where he went on to serve in the Asiatic Pacific Theatre, WWII and received the Victor & Asiatic Pacific Medals. He returned to Benton Harbor in 1945 and settled down to building his career and family. Elijah worked at Superior Steel and later for the Benton Harbor Housing Commission where he was a Mechanical Engineer Supervisor until his retirement in 1985.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Bertha who passed in 2009; father, Miles who lived to be 98, mother, Mary Miller Nelums; and 6 siblings. He leaves to carry on his legacy 2 sisters in Benton Harbor: Isabelle Sesson and Essie Nelums; his daughter, Ellen Wrae Brown (Granville)of Las Vegas NV, and son, Barry Elijah Nelums of South Bend; 6 grandchildren: Dorienne Brown Stephens (Antonio) of Dallas TX, Douglas Brown, Darin Brown  of Grand Rapids, MI; Kim Applewhite Gathers (Anthony) of Phoenix, AZ; Corey Dorris of Benton Harbor, and Omar Nelums; 8 great-grandchildren: Jalessa & April Brown, Anthony Earvin II, Arianna & Alivia Bankston, Rodney Applewhite, Omyra Nelums, Camil, Corey Jr., Corissa and Adisyn Dorris; 2 great-great grandchildren, special friends George & Jessie Pearl Davis, many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.  We will all miss him very much.

Internment in Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta, MI, where he will join his wife, Bertha.

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