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Martin Joseph "Bubba" Nilson, 83, of Colonial Beach passed away Sunday, July 7, 2013, at his home surrounded by his family.
Marty was born April 18, 1930, in the Bronx, N.Y., to Joseph Martin and Anna Lofgren Nilsson. He married Patricia Ann Peters on Nov. 18, 1951, in Chatham, on Cape Cod. They celebrated their 61st anniversary in 2012.
Marty enlisted in the U.S. Coast Guard in 1948, and became a "TT" or telephone technician. He later attended officer candidate school, was commissioned, and retired in 1970 as a lieutenant commander. His last assignment was at the Coast Guard Radio Station on Telegraph Road in the Franconia area. He went to work for C&P Telephone the day after he retired, and over a second 20-year telecommunications career also worked for Bell Atlantic and AT&T.
Marty is survived by his wife, Pat; son Joseph Nilson (Melanie); daughter Kristine Cox (Jim); brother Arnold Nilson (Signild); grandchildren Michael Cox (Brigid), Amy Cox, Rebecca Cox, David Cox, Jeffrey Nilson and Kristin Nilson; and great-grandchildren Nate Cox, Jacob Cox and Lucas Cox. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews and close friends. Marty was preceded in death by his sister, Ann Larkin.
Marty touched many lives through his volunteer work with the Special Olympics and started its skating program in Virginia. Over a 13-year period, he taught hundreds of exceptional children and teens to figure and speed skate. Many of his skaters participated in the Special Olympics version of the Winter Olympics in Vermont and Utah.
His other favorite pastimes included attending Coast Guard reunions for "TTs" and woodworking. He had his own woodworking shop and was an expert picture framer. He also spent innumerable hours helping family and friends with household repairs and improvements, and was especially adept at helping grandchildren with last minute school projects.
Marty was a lifelong hockey fan, playing roller hockey as a young man in the Bronx, and was an original Washington Capitals season ticket holder. He continued playing street hockey with his grandchildren and their friends well into his 60s. He was called "Bubba" by all his grandchildren and their friends.
A visitation will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, July 11, at Nash & Slaw Funeral Home, 131 Third St., Colonial Beach. A service will be held following the viewing, with Pastor William Heinzman officiating. Interment will be at
Please sign the online guest book at nashandslawfh.com.