Visalia teacher remembered at vigil on Rocky Hill

VISALIA, Calif.

Even though a large crowd of friends is in mourning, they're also celebrating the life of a man who impacted thousands.

"He was a friend and a coach and mentor and a father and a brother... it's been really tough," said friend Justin Levine.

Levine said he grew close to Scott over the past few years. They were teammates on the Visalia Triathlon Club and often rode together on Rocky Hill. "People attracted to his personality," Levine said. "He was just that type of guy who, when you see him... you were so excited to see Scott."

Nelson used to ride up Rocky Hill to take in the beautiful view of the Valley, his home, the place where he devoted his life to making friends, teaching and coaching.

Many of Scott's students and friends showed up for the vigil. His family did not make the walk. Instead a friend read a message to the group, from Scott's girlfriend.

"She just said I don't know the words that can adequately express the pain of this broken heart, the love I have for my wonderful man or the gratitude I have for everyone out there tonight," the message read.

After a prayer and some reflection Scott's friends took the journey back down the hill, many with a new perspective. "We're all going to miss him and hopefully live our lives a little differently," said friend Mike Scaff.

"It's important to cherish life this was a very tragic thing and it happened in a matter of seconds," Levine said.

Students from Mt. Whitney High School said Scott's brother, Randy, has since taken over teaching Scott's calculus class.

A memorial service is set for Saturday at the Visalia First Assembly Church on Akers and Caldwell in Visalia. It will begin at 10 a.m.

A memorial fund has also been set up to help Scott's two children pay for college. The account is set up at the Visalia Community Bank, donations can be made at any branch.

A memorial fund to help Scott Nelson's children pay for college has been set up. The account is set up at Visalia community Bank. Deposits can be made at any branch.

Also, the memorial service is set for Saturday at 10am at Visalia First Assembly on Akers and Caldwell in Visalia. There will be a viewing on Thursday from 4-8pm at Salser and Dillard.

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