Byron Nelson, longtime Decatur school superintendent, dies

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Michael Wetzel, The Decatur Daily, Ala.
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Apr. 12—Byron Nelson, who served as Decatur City Schools superintendent from 1974-92, died Thursday, according to Gober Funeral Chapel in Arab. Nelson, who resided in Union Grove, was 86.

Nelson also served as superintendent for the Homewood and Arab school systems. A memorial service was held Sunday at Arab First United Methodist Church.

"He was a great man," said former Decatur High teacher and girls basketball coach Mike Smith. "He took the city schools through a lot of trials and tribulations and always came out on top."

Smith credited Nelson for helping launch girls sports programs in the city schools.

Nelson, a native of Tallassee, received a bachelor's degree from Auburn in 1957 and a master's degree there two years later.

mike.wetzel@decaturdaily.com or 256-340-2442. Twitter @DD_Wetzel.