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Kyle Christopher Nelson

March 5, 1981 ~ July 17, 2020 (age 39)


Kyle Christopher Nelson, beloved son, brother, and uncle suddenly left all those who loved him following a drowning accident on the Wenatchee River on Friday, July 17, 2020.  He was 39 years old.

Born in Redmond, WA on March 5,1981, Kyle was the son of Guy and Victoria Nelson, and younger brother to Jennifer (Nelson) Hoyt. The family resided in the South Seattle/greater Renton community where  Kyle attended Lakeridge Elementary School, McKnight Middle School and was a graduate of Renton High School’s class of 1999.

Kyle was active and outgoing from the beginning of his life.  Growing up in a family that fostered his love of the outdoors he was a Northwesterner through-and-through.  The young family spent many happy days together camping across the state in places like Lake Roosevelt, exploring the shores of the Washington Coast, or gathering with aunts, uncles, cousins and lifelong family friends at the beloved Nelson family cabin on Lake Cushman.

Sports were also a central focus throughout Kyle’s life.  This started early with his enthusiasm for collecting baseball cards as a child and playing tee-ball at the age of six and continued with lettering all four years in varsity baseball at Renton High School.  He went on to play college baseball at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom.  He would later volunteer coach for youth leagues and high school baseball programs across the state.

Kyle naturally excelled at team sports where his commitment to his teammates and motivated attitude factored into the leader he became on and off the field. It was his fierce commitment and loyalty to others that would later impact countless others as Kyle moved through adulthood.

Kyle would eventually face personal hurdles that resulted in his pursuit of recovery and at the time of his passing was just a few months shy of reaching his third year of sobriety. 

Kyle’s life was profoundly and positively impacted by successful programs including the Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Seattle, The Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment and the Oxford House program in Wenatchee where he had been in his third year of residency.  The thriving community at Oxford House was a lifeline for Kyle, who benefitted greatly from the support he received there, on his recovery journey.  It was the Oxford House program where he took it upon himself to mentor and guide others who were newer in their recovery journey. After learning of Kyle’s passing, dozens upon dozens of people came forward, telling their stories of how Kyle had made a profound impact on their pursuit of sobriety, often providing a listening ear, being the voice of reason and sometimes taking a firm hand to help those in desperate need of guidance and support while pursuing a life free from drug and alcohol addiction.

Kyle had also recently found a deepened, personal relationship with God and was baptized at Sage Hills Church in Wenatchee on May 16, 2019.

Kyle is survived by his parents Guy and Victoria Nelson; sister Jennifer (Nelson) Hoyt, her husband Bryan, their children Emmett, Nola and Hank and grandmother, Alicia Miller, all of Ellensburg.  Kyle was also surrounded by loving aunts, uncles, and cousins residing in Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, and beyond.  

The family will be planning a memorial service to celebrate Kyle’s life when Covid-19 related restrictions are lifted or when a virtual celebration can be arranged.

For those wishing to express their sympathy, memorial contributions in Kyle’s name may be sent to Oxford House, Chapter 16, PO Box 3948 Wenatchee, WA 98801 and/or The Center for Alcohol and Drug Treatment, 327 Okanogan Ave, #2970, Wenatchee, WA 98801.

Johnston & Williams Funeral Home and Crematory of Ellensburg has been entrusted with caring for Kyle’s family.  Online condolences may be left at

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