Obituary: Edward Nettles, Jr 1940-2023

Edward L. Nettles Jr. passed away on July 25, 2023, in his home surrounded by the ones he loved. Ed was born in Coosawhatchie, South Carolina to Margaret Leona Ramsey Nettles and Edward L. Nettles Sr. He grew up in Charleston, South Carolina and especially enjoyed spending time at the beach. He graduated from St. Andrews High School, studied one year at The Citadel in Charleston, and graduated from Mississippi State University. 

After college, he was commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant in the United States Army. He served in various posts and assignments throughout the world. He was proud of his 29 years of service to our country in the Army, Army Reserves and National Guard, even though he was affected by Agent Orange during his two tours in Vietnam. During his first tour of duty in Vietnam, he received an anonymous pen pal letter from Carol West of Spokane. From that first letter a friendship and then a romance blossomed. They met in person when he returned from Vietnam and became engaged before he left for a second tour. Ed and Carol married while on R & R (Rest and Recreation) in Honolulu, Hawaii and they would have celebrated their 55th anniversary in December of this year. 

When he left the Army Ed and his family moved to Los Alamos, New Mexico where he was employed for 18 years at Los Alamos National Laboratory in physical security and emergency management. In 2000, when he retired, he and Carol moved to Spokane. 

Ed was a quiet and introspective man with great attention to detail. He was a voracious reader, and especially enjoyed reading about the Civil War, World War II, and every book that Louis L’Amour ever wrote. Ed loved the outdoors and the animals who inhabit it. He religiously fed the squirrels, quail, peacocks, turkeys, deer, and moose that came to his yard. He also loved his many indoor dogs and cats. Ed’s friendships were dear to him, and he enjoyed keeping in touch with the members of the Class of 1958 St. Andrews High School. He was especially proud of his daughter, Sister Laura Nettles (FSPA), and the life she has built in service to others. 

Ed is survived by his wife, Carol Nettles; his daughter Sister Laura Nettles of La Crosse, Wisconsin; and his sister Joyce (Nettles) Barnette of Miami, Florida. A committal service with full military honors will take place at the Washington State Veterans Cemetery in Medical Lake on Aug. 4 at 9:45 a.m.

We would like to thank the staff at Cyber Knife and Summit Cancer Center for their excellent and compassionate care and Hospice of Spokane for helping us navigate this difficult journey. If you wish to honor Ed, please consider a donation to Spokanimal CARE, St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, or the Inland Northwest Honor Flight.