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Nelson Brewer Escue was born Feb. 25, 1927 in Okmulgee, Okla. to Bertna Mae Brewer and Elmer Nelson Escue. Following the death of his father at the age of one, he was raised by his grandparents, Alice Craig and Lee Brewer. He had a special love for his grandmother who taught him kindness and was a strong influence on his life.   Bertna Mae Brewer remarried and gave Nelson a younger brother, Gary Zane Jackson. Nelson was extremely close to Gary, his three aunts: Roxie, Irene, and Marceline and uncles, Siney and Finn.

Growing up in the depression, Nelson would often find ways to make money for the family.  At the age of 13, he worked full-time in a bakery while going to school to help provide for his family.  He also threw newspapers with his cousin Billy Webb to afford them the Saturday afternoon luxury of the picture-show.   

As the nation entered World War II, Nelson joined the Marines at 17 years of age.   As he was being deployed, the war in Europe ended and Japan surrendered.  Nelson spent his military service as part of the occupational force in Japan.  

Responding to his deep love for the earth, he used the GI Bill to get a degree in Geology from Oklahoma University.  Shortly after getting his degree, Nelson took a job with Standard Vacuum (today’s Exxon-Mobile).  This job took him to the jungles of Sumatra in Indonesia where he learned Indonesian and Malay.  

At 24 years old, Nelson met Suzanne Jalboud while on holiday in Singapore, and they married shortly thereafter.  While continuing to work in Sumatra, they welcomed their first child, Jeffrey.  In 1955, they moved from Indonesia to Liberal, Kansas, and in 1957, Nelson went out on his own to start First National Oil.  As Nelson developed a reputation as a gifted petroleum geologist, he and Suzanne had six other children: Micheline, Matthew, Cassandra, Montgomery, Penelope and Merrili.     Nelson and Suzanne eventually moved their family to La Mesa, Calif. in 1974, where they continued to raise their family and grow his oil company.    

In 1984, Nelson began a new family with Peaches Windle. Together they had two children: Andrew and Sasha.   As a father, Nelson enjoyed teaching his children about the world through his love of nature, travel and lifelong learning. 

Through Nelson’s gift for geology, his geological interpretations were responsible for the discovery of numerous oil fields in the Hugoton and Anadarko basins of Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas.  In those times, geology was an art as much as a science, and Nelson was very well-respected in his field.  

Nelson was a highly intelligent and inquisitive man who read voraciously and kept himself well educated on the issues of his day. After living for 90 years 10 months and 3 days he died Dec. 28, 2017 peacefully in his sleep. He will be remembered by all the family and friends he leaves behind.    

He is survived by his wife, Peaches Windle; eight children: Jeffrey Escue, Micheline Escue, Cassandra Thorson, Montgomery Escue, Penelope Chase, Merrili Escue, Andrew Escue, and Sasha Escue.  He is also survived by 13 grandchildren: Michael Escue, Timothy Escue, Olivia Holvik, Kate Bourne, Mary Beth Bourne, Christopher Escue, Shanna Schmidt, Brock Thorson, Alexandra Thorson, David Escue, Elizabeth Escue, Brittany Nemerow, and Jennifer Ryan; six great-grandchildren; and his nephew Brad Jackson and niece Rachel Jackson..

• Services for Nelson will be at 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 5, 2018 at East County Mortuary in El Cajon, Calif.  

His body will be laid to rest with a graveside service at 2 p.m. Saturday, January 6, 2018 at Mountain View Cemetery in Amboy, Wash.

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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