The Official C. Burton Nelson Website

About (Biography)


1) Early Years/Education

-Born June 29, 1926 to John and Nannie Nelson; youngest of 7 children

-Graduated Rockford East High School- 1943

-Joined US Army-, 17th Airborne Division and 82nd Airborne Division- Parachute Scout Non-com-European Theater of Operations- Bronze Star Medal, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Parachutist Wings, Gliderman Wings, Good Conduct Medal, European Theater Medal (2 battle stars), Victory Medal, German Occupation Medal- 1944-46

...more (audio interview)

-Attended Augustana College, majoring in Economics, Lettered in Football, elected to Alpha Psi Omega, National Honorary Dramatics Society- 1947-48

-Attended University of Illinois- 1948-49

-Attended Beloit College- Elected Phi Beta Kappa, National Honorary Scholastic Society, Graduated Cum Laude in Economics- 1949-51

-Married Nancy Jean Cameron- 1950; two children- Andrea Kay and John Cameron

-Attended Northern Illinois University-   received a Master of Science degree in Business Administration, elected to Sigma Iota Epsilon, National Honorary Graduate Business Fraternity; College of Business Alumni of the Year 1971. 

2) Business/ Professional Accomplishments

-Sundstrand Corporation- Assistant to the Executive Vice President- 1964-69

-State Of Illinois Commerce Commission- Commissioner and Chairman- 1969-80

-State of Illinois Emergency Transportation Board- Chairman- 1969-73

-State of Illinois- Governor's Council- Member- 1969-73

-Electric Power Research Institute- Director, Regulatory Relations- 1980-91 also Executive Director, Advisory Council to the Board of Directors 1987-1991

-Resources for the Gifted- Business Consultant; Authored five books for gifted children- 1982-85

-Gas Research Institute- Consultant (part-time, after retirement) 1991-97

-Public Affairs Council, Washington, D.C.- Board of Directors- 1964-69

-National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners, Washington, D.C.-Board of Directors-1978-80
Mid America Regulatory Commissioners- Executive Committee- 1969-80, President 1978-79 

-Commissioners Emeritus- President- 1984

3) Community Service

-Winnebago County Board of Supervisors- Elected to one term-

-Sundstrand Employees Association- President- 1956

-Rockford United Way Fund Campaign Chairman- First million-dollar campaign- 1966

-American Red Cross, Rock River Chapter- Vice Chairman, Finance Chairman, Public Information Officer, Fund Drive Chairman.

Chaired numerous fund-raising, referendum, and political campaigns.

4) Post-retirement Activities and Interests

-Continues with his decades-long commitment of regular blood donations.  Currently, a community leader at over 22 gallons (177 pints)

-Avid collector- wants one, and only one, of everything

-Authored Civil War novel “Incident at Pittston Crossing” – first published 2003

-Active at Kepotah Sportsman’s Club (Co-Founded in 1953) –“14-Again” Group -organization of retirees

-Molds and paints lead soldiers, listens to music, dines out and plays cards with Bev Bianchi.

And... A Love of Poetry

Twinkies and Gin

There’s a time in your life

            When it stops bein’ fun

And you wonder just where it will end.

You’re afraid that the good times

            Are over and done

And there’s no one that you can call “friend.”

The rich coffee of love

            Has turned cold in your mug

And the foaming beer all has gone flat.

Oh, the Twinkies won’t do it

            And neither will gin.

So what the hell’s left after that?

Now the two-step of life

            Is a one-step for you

And you miss her like hell – what’s her name?

Was it Tulsa or Dallas?

            She’s waiting for you.

Where she’ll hold you and love you again.

The warm singing of love

            Has gone dumb in your heart

And there’s no way that you can fix that.

Oh, the Twinkies won’t do it

            And neither will gin.

So what the hell’s left after that?

You’re a singer of songs

            And a teller of tales

And they’ve all heard your story before.

But you pick out a tune

            And a tear blurs your voice

But nobody pays heed anymore.

Now the echoes of laughter

            Die down in your soul

And you wonder just where it’s all at.

Oh, the Twinkies won’t do it

            And neither will gin.

So what the hell’s left after that?


-- C. Burton Nelson

August, 1980

Career Photo Highlights

After graduation, Bud found a job overseas with the federal government.


When World War II ended, Bud returned to private industry with Sundstrand Corp...

...And "starred" in their TV advertising.

Bud's career depended heavily on his excellent communication skills.

Not only on the job, but also In his free time, Bud worked with local volunteer organizations, such as Red Cross...
...and as Chairman of the United Fund drive for the Rockford IL region.

Bud's talents were then sent to the public sector, as Commissioner and later, Chairman of the Illinois Commerce Commission.

A strong proponent of research and development, Bud joined the Electric Power Research Institute to foster support for their program.
Web Hosting Companies