Ben Nelson
1926-2001
Co-Founder of AIDC 100

Benjamin A. Nelson, 74 died Saturday morning September 15, 2001 at his home in East Swanzey after a battle with cancer.

He was born in Keene October 3, 1926, son of Benjamin Adelbert and Marion (Greenleaf) Nelson, and graduated from Keen High School in 1944.

During World War II, her served in the U.S. Army's 752nd tank battalion, 88th Division in Italy.  He was a Captain in the N.H. Natinal Guard and was recalled to active duty dure the Cuban missle crisis in 1962.

Mr. Nelson was the company archivist at Markem Corp. in Keene, retiring in 1995 after 42 years with the company.  At the time of his death, he was still serving as the company’s archivist.  As a spokesman for Markem, he spoke to more than 300 trade associations and universities in the United States, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, and wrote many papers.

In 1985, he received an indus­try award for his efforts to intro­duce bar-coding at the School of Packaging at Michigan State University.  He served on many bar-code industry boards and in retirement consulted to that industry.  In 1995, he formed Nelson As­sociates, devoted to education in automatic identification.  In 1997, Helmers Publishing of Peterbor­ough published his history of the industry, “Punched Cards to Bar Codes - A 200-Year Journey."

Mr. Nelson enjoyed reading, many kinds of music, woodwork­ing, collecting and showing an­tique tractors and engines, and travel.  He was also a private pilot.

Survivors include his wife Eunice Ann (Scuf) (Parker) Nelson whom he married May 27, 1948, a daughter, Leslie Nelson Haines of Houston, a son, Douglas Nelson of East Swanzey, two grandchildren, and a niece and a nephew.

A memorial service will be held Tuesday at 4 p.m. at Fletcher Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 33 Marlboro St., Keene.  Burial will be in Woodland Cemetery, Keene.

Friends may call Tuesday from 2 to 4 p.m. at the funeral home.

The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in Mr. Nelson’s memory either to the American Cancer Society, in care of Norma Jeanne Pinney, P.O. Box 87, West Swanzey 03469; or Kingsbury Center for Cancer Care, 580 Court St., Keene 03431.

A memorial resides at the AIDC 100 library and reads as follows:

Ben Nelson, 1926-2001, was an active and positive presence in the AIDC industry from its inception in the 1970’s.  He was known worldwide for his memorable seminars on the basics of bar code symbology and printing.

In 1997, Ben authored the important reference book

“Punched Cards to Bar Codes.”

His humor, warmth, kindness and integrity forged a rock-sold lasting bond with all who knew him.

Ben was a co-founder of AIDC 100 in 1997 and remained a driving, inspirational force in the organization until his untimely passing.

He will be sorely missed by his friends and associates.