Obituary Listings

Lauren Burdette Nelson

July 25, 1938 November 12, 2017
Lauren Burdette Nelson
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Obituary for Lauren Burdette Nelson

Lauren Burdette Nelson, 79, of Miami, Florida passed away on Sunday, November 12, 2017. Lauren was born in the farming country of western NY State where he excelled in math and science at the small rural high school he attended. He loved sports, especially baseball and basketball, but quite frankly this skinny kid did not excel in these areas on high school teams. He was a great fan of the Cleveland Indians baseball team and either his Dad or older brother would take him to Cleveland once or twice a year to see a game.

His greatest interest was aviation and he would frequently ride his bicycle over to the local airport to watch the small planes come and go and then in the early 50’s, Allegheny Airlines, which ultimately became U.S. Airways, started flying twin engine DC-3s into the airport, which he thought was very exciting.

Lauren’s mother was from Tennessee so Lauren along with his mother, father, and brother, would frequently visit East Tennessee on summer vacations and visit relatives. Following graduation from high school, Lauren attended the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, TN. In 1961, Lauren graduated from UT with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering and went to work for the Federal Aviation Agency’s Systems Research and Development Service. During his four years at the Test Center near Atlantic City, NJ, he performed research and development in various projects having to do with aircraft position determination and height finding radar. During this time period, Lauren returned to the East Tennessee area and married his college sweetheart, Maxine, who hails from Sevierville, TN, which is also the hometown of Dolly Parton.

In 1965, Lauren and Maxine opted for a warmer climate and Lauren joined the Eastern Airlines Engineering Department in Miami as a Senior Engineer and remained with them until they shut down in 1991. From 1965 through 1977, he served at various levels in the Avionics Engineering Department at Eastern, and then became the Chief L-1011 Project Engineer in 1977. In 1981, Lauren was promoted to Director of Aircraft Engineering with responsibility over Avionics, Systems, Structures, and Interiors. In 1988, he was promoted to Chief Engineer, where he had responsibility for Eastern’s entire 72 person engineering staff. This is the position Lauren held until Eastern’s shut down in 1991. During his many years at Eastern, Lauren served on several industry committees and for this and other business reasons he traveled to such places as Hong Kong, Sydney, Australia, as well as, Hamburg, Germany.

Later in 1991, Lauren co-founded an aviation engineering consulting company in Miami called AVITAS Engineering and was the President and CEO of this company until it was acquired by EMTEQ in 2002. Mr. Nelson then served as President of EMTEQ Engineering until taking semi-retirement in 2006.

In addition to his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Tennessee, Lauren obtained an MBA from New York Institute of Technology while working for Eastern Airlines. Lauren has also been an FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER) in aircraft electronic instrumentation (Avionics) since 1969 and was an appointed DER in Powerplant Accessories in 1995 and a Management DER in 2003.

Lauren and Maxine had one son, Michael Nelson, who now lives just outside of Knoxville, TN and works as a College Professor of Web Technology. In earlier years, Lauren, Maxine, and Mike enjoyed vacations traveling, but their favorite was a time-share condominium in the Florida Keys, where fishing and other activities could be enjoyed by all.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Carolyn Maxine Nelson; mother, Bobbie Kelly; father, Henry Nelson; sister, Gwendolyn Nelson; brother, R. Lenhart Nelson; and brothers-in-law, James Stilson and Sherwood Eggleston; and sisters-in-law, Vickie Mae Reed and Helen Shockley.

Lauren is survived by his son, Michael Henry Nelson; sister, Evelyn Stilson; brother, Everett Nelson and his wife, Pat; sister-in-law, Shirley Nelson; brothers-in-law, James Reed and his wife, Diane, and Dan Shockley; and a host of loving extended family members and friends.

Family and friends will meet 2 PM Sunday, November 19th at Tarwater Cemetery for the graveside service and interment. Rev. Jerry Hyder will be officiating. Online condolences may be made at

Previous Events





2:00 PM 11/19/2017 2:00:00 PM
Tarwater Family Cemetery

Sevierville, TN

Tarwater Family Cemetery
Sevierville TN

Cemetery Details


Tarwater Cemetery Final Resting Place



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