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Remembering Marc...
Stephanie Soller
Posted: 2018-02-27 8:26:00 PM
I met Marc when he worked in Playa Del Carmen , Mexico. He was a gentle, old soul with a sense of humor unmatched by anyone I have ever known. I had the pleasure of meeting his wonderful family on many occasions. We parted ways and lost touch for many years. One evening I googled his name, just out of curiosity. He was happily married with children and I couldn't be happier for him. The next time I googled his name, I learned he had passed. My heart goes out to his family and friends. He never met a stranger and was one of the kindest souls. RIP MRN.
A Marc Lover
Posted: 2015-03-05 12:34:00 AM
I was going trough my Music on this rainy day and came across Marc's Daydream Album. I googled him to learn how he was and where he might be playing and am so sad to learn of his passing. I only met him briefly, years ago but he left an impression. It's not much and it's late ... I'm sorry for your loss.
Elizabeth Godfrey
Posted: 2014-10-14 9:39:00 AM
I just read about Marc's death today. I'm travelling to Ottawa in a few weeks and thought I would check to see if he might be playing a gig while I was there. What I found was his obituary. I was so shocked and saddened. I knew Marc back in the early 90's. We met at the airport Fox and Fiddle where we both took in the weekly jam nights, where I first heard his beautiful voice. We were quite close the summer before he went to Mexico. We stayed in touch then and after he returned from Houston but sadly we lost touch. He has always been someone who touched my life in that special way. Footprints on my heart. God bless him and his beautiful family.
Doug Cyr
Posted: 2014-07-15 2:08:00 PM
I was shocked to stumble upon the news of Marc's death today.

I recall the first time I ever met Marc. The band I was playing drums for was opening for the Northern Pike's at E. C. Drury High School back in 1988. We were waiting to go on when I find out this guy is going to go on before us. So this guy walks on stage with just a guitar and starts to play and sing....this guy was Marc Nelson who I met for the first time that night after he walked off stage.

My band played heavy metal and hard rock....but I sat there listening to Marc play Pink Houses by John Cougar Mellencamp, music I was not really into at the time, but he captured my attention along with everyone in the gym that night. Just this guy and his guitar.

I would see Marc around town the odd time at the bars and pubs when he wasn't playing, and he was always a gentleman. The last time I saw him was at a mutual friend's wedding about 7 or 8 years ago.

I never met a person who didn't like Marc....ever.

I'm still in shock as I write thoughts go out to his wife, children and family.

James Madge
Posted: 2014-04-30 4:51:00 PM
I met Marc over a decade ago in a class at Second City in Toronto. He immediately claimed the status of the coolest person I knew.

First of all, he was a musician. Secondly, he was a wickedly good improviser. More importantly, I had never met anyone so comfortable in his own skin.

As I got to know Marc, I began to attend his shows whenever I could. loved watching him perform. When he eventually moved to Ottawa (my hometown), I'd make a point of trying to catch his gigs when I went home for a visit.

Before that big move of his, I got married.

It's safe to say that there was very little my wife and I agreed upon when it came to planning our wedding (isn't that how those things always go?). When I suggested we ask Marc to perform at the ceremony, however, she was all for it. She loved his music as much as me. His performance at our wedding remains one of our fondest memories of the day.

After Marc moved to Ottawa we did not keep in touch as much. Facebook eventually helped us reconnect and I read with great joy the stories of his beautiful, growing family.

A few years ago my sister was planning a charity event for a sick friend and asked me to emcee it. "What about some music?" I asked her.

It was a great excuse to reach out to Marc, and being the generous soul that he was, he said yes, packing his gear into his car and meeting us at a Kanata restaurant on a Friday night in April.

I had not seen him play in years, but he was as fantastic as I remembered. He sang, made people laugh and smile ... he was Marc.

He even let me sing with him, too, which was the fulfillment of a dream so big he could not possibly of imagined. The idea of "singing" in front of people both terrified and thrilled me, which may sound odd considering I am an actor.

Singing with Marc made it all seem that much safer.

That was the last time I saw Marc.

I was profoundly saddened by the news of his death, but that image of him standing behind the microphone with his guitar, and me singing along with him, is the a memory I'll cherish forever.

James Madge
Neil Madden
Posted: 2014-04-28 12:33:00 PM
Life is full of moments in time and sometimes it only takes a moment to make a memory. I did not know Marc, as he was a couple of years older than me. My brother Scott and he were friends, but I knew who he was when in High School at Loyola.
As a 16 year old I sat listening to Marc as my brother graduated high school. Marc's graduation speech as Valedictorian resonated with me. Although I do not have the eloquence of which he spoke as a young adult even today, he talked about high school being a journey like that of a bus ride (And I am paraphrasing) that people get on the bus and people get off as we are all on a journey. A number of years later at my brothers wedding I reminded him of Marc's graduation speech and how it still resonated as he was about to embark on a new life.
I did not think about that moment until a few weeks ago while in Beverly Hills on vacation. I ran into a former high school teacher and we started talking about our old principal, Mr. Pillibossian. I asked if he had ever heard the song written by a guy in the school at the time about Mr. Pillibossian. The song was recorded on a band trip in 1988 I believe and I got to hear the humour of the songwriter who was Marc. Funny how little moments in life stick with you. I thought I would share this so his family knows the impact he had on people even in high school. I am 41 and still remember.
I want to extend my deepest condolences to the family.
Posted: 2014-04-28 11:12:00 AM
I met Marc when I went to see his band on St-Patrick's day about 8 years ago. We ended up chatting between sets and he was just a genuine nice guy. We have the same shaped pinkies :) His personality is so infectious. I got my buddies hooked on his band and for a while, we became "groupies" following his band to various pubs when we could. He always remembered my name, often giving me a shout out from stage. I was truly shocked and saddened to hear of his passing. I hope his family and loved ones can find peace in the good memories. God Bless.
Posted: 2014-04-27 4:29:00 PM
Last Friday my wife and I went to this place called Biagios to eat where we have never been before Good Friday and there was an entertainer actually singing and playing guitar. Usually if I hear anyone pretty good or something unique they will get my attention. Now I feel so sad and pretty bad that the guy that was finger picking while we were eating did not get my attention and he was the gentleman that died on a construction site last Monday.
Last night I found one of his songs bout' his new born son on a Metro news page that was very beautiful and it was a strong message to me that this man, musician was a very talented beautiful hard working man that worked construction and played music part time.
With all the love and prayers I say "I Love You Brother and Play On" and that there's a guitar for you in heaven.
Hopefully I will meet you one day and be honored.
All the best and may god bless your little family. Love, Nev&Kim Johnson
Tracey Hoyt
Posted: 2014-04-26 8:10:00 PM
I had the pleasure of teaching Marc at The Second City Training Centre in Toronto. He was truly one of the most naturally talented students I had ever encountered and we loved it when he brought his guitar to class. One night, as a group, we went to a pub in Toronto to hear him play. Best field trip ever. Hearing the news of Marc's untimely passing has affected me deeply. His music has been both comforting and heart wrenching at this very sad time. (I had bought "Uncle" when Marc was at Second City and have listened to it for years.) What a rich gift of music Marc has left behind for all of us. It's hard to imagine that he is gone. He was a true artist with an unforgettable sense of humour and a generous heart. Sending his wife and children, his friends and family my deepest condolences.
Erb McNerb
Posted: 2014-04-26 1:38:00 AM
Marc Robert (I knew him fondly as BOBO) Nelson was taken from us this past week in a tragic accident in Ottawa. He was at that particular “time and place” supplementing his income as a musician in order to provide for his young and beautiful family. He was 45. His loss is felt in many places because he affected many people, in many ways.

Of course, all loss can be felt by many and is tragic. Marc, however was one of those bright lights that resonate particularly (for me, anyway) due to who he was and how he went about his life. He was simply one of those people that deserved the title “celebrity”…in the literal meaning, which is merely to be recognized by many. Marc was and is (for many reasons) a celebrity and his life and music deserve to be celebrated.

I had the privilege in knowing Marc initially through music, as so many others have. At first, I was awestruck by his charm, talent and sense of humour. Friendship came easily, for my part. Frankly, I wanted to be like Marc. And as I got to know him and his family in those heady teenage years it became apparent that he was a man truly worthy of being modeled after. Something that I was always on the lookout for having lost my father at an early age.

For the introduction I have an inherited ’73 Fender Precision bass guitar, Dennis Griffin and Rod Hebert to thank. You see, I grew up in Milton, Ontario and lived on Coulson and Clements Avenue’s (one street over from Coulson!) between the ages of approximately 9 and 18. There lived Rod (two houses away) and Dennis (8-10 houses), two of the most influential (and ridiculously funny) people I have encountered in my life. Dennis played drums, Rod screamed and I plucked a note or two on my father’s Fender Precision bass guitar. It soon became apparent that Dennis was truly dedicated to the idea of playing music for a living, and as such, it didn't take long for Marc to enter the scene. Musicians seek each other out, especially in small towns. His influence changed that scene dramatically, taking things to a whole other level.

Shortly, the band Three Kool Guyz was formed with Marc, Dennis and Mike (still the best album name ever – Too Stoned to Bobsled) And what a scene it was!!! Fat Freddies, Moviola, Rod’s living room, the drum room at dennis’, sauble beach, the university shows (and undoubtedly the university dorm rooms after…), Lee’s Palace in Toronto. It didn’t matter where…there was always laughter and “WOW” moments that I cherish as some of my fondest to this day. The bassist for the band, Mike, liked my father’s P-bass and had asked to borrow it. I was happy to oblige, on condition that I could be near it at all times. Because of this, I was at many of those early gigs and if I didn’t get too wild (#drunk) helped out with some roadie or filming duties. I still apologize for dropping that speaker at the Bombshelter gig in Waterloo!!!

What struck me most about Marc was how he drew people in with his innocence. His song-writing in those days reflected (to me) an innate ability to see things purely and without jade or anger. I could not help but want to sing and dance along with Marc, Cathy Nelson-Gordon, Dennis, Dan, Rod, Red, Bubba and the gang on a Friday evening in downtown Milton during the 80’s. It was bliss, it was downright Rockwellian, it was a long time ago. This tragedy has flooded these memories to the surface and I, oddly can't help but want to sing and dance along with Marc, Cathy, Dennis, Dan, Rod.... and yeah, shed a tear for the lost memories moving forward.

In recent years, I have followed Marc from afar with the assistance of electronic media and have exchanged one or two emails congratulating him on his art. For those friends of mine who have had the privilege to remain close, still perform and experience life together with Marc some 20-odd years later, my heart bleeds for you. For his wife, children and extended family I weep for you. And I celebrate another of the great ones taken too young. Hope to hear you sing Bobby the Shark sometime down the road in the Great Gig in The Sky.

Goodbye, old friend.
Tim Andrews
Julianne Francis
Posted: 2014-04-25 1:43:00 PM
Being married to an artist is an incredibly enriching life, I have always found artists/musicians to have an incredible insight into life, a genuine kindness for all, a unique sense of humour never cruel, non judgmental, accepting of everyone no matter who or where you came from and such deep emotional intelligence, this is how I remember Marc. My husband Don had that brotherly love for Marc and they understood the healing and depth of music and connected in this way, this is their life, it is who they are. I remember Marc looking over at me while he was playing a gig and he must of remembered my love of Van Morrison's music, he didn't need to say a thing as he began to play Moondance....I didn't need to say a thing my smile must of said it all. That's what Marc did, he made others happy. I feel blessed that I knew him and will carry a piece of him in my heart always.
Mark Melymick
Posted: 2014-04-25 11:20:00 AM
I posted comment below on facebook but thought i would repost here -
Marc Nelson was a student I taught at Milton District my first year teaching in Ontario. I mentioned to others when he arrived mid-term that he seemed to have dropped out of Heaven, just at the right time - when I was looking for a powerful voice for the Plant in production of Little Shop of Horrors I was directing. I could not find anyone suitable and was agonizing over what to do - then Marc showed up. HE WAS INCREDIBLE. I was lucky enough to run in to Marc on the street when on business in Ottawa a few years ago and reconnect with him - I also got to see him perform his music at D'arcy McGees then and also share many laughs and a beer or two...Losing a former student like Marc is like losing a family member. I will never forget his voice, work ethic, sense of humour, or his love of learning, family and life.. Marc dropped out of heaven for us and sadly has returned far too early...I mean it when I say I will do whatever i can to help his wife and children with anything they need.
Mark A. Melymick