Marion C. Nelson, 93, former chairman of Gillham Advertising Inc. and prominent business and civic leader, died Tuesday, Nov. 27, 1990, of natural causes at his Salt Lake home.

He was the father of Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Council of the Twelve, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.Mr. Nelson joined Gillham in 1921 as a schedule clerk, later becoming the firm's production manager, assistant manager and general manager. In 1930, he purchased control and became president of Gillham, a position he held until 1972, when he became chairman of the board. He resigned from the company in 1975 at age 78.

From 1917-21, he was sports and automobile editor of the Deseret News.

In his more than 50 years in advertising, Mr. Nelson had worked in virtually every area of the business. Recognized for his organizational expertise, he directed many of the area's most successful promotions and was recipient of many national and other awards.

Mr. Nelson was president of the Salt Lake Advertising Club in the early 1930s when the group received the annual award for the most outstanding accomplishment of any club in the Western states. In March 1966, he was given the annual Silver Medal Award by the advertising club, the Advertising Association of the West, Advertising Federation of America, and Printers Ink Magazine for advertising and community service. He was vice president of the Pacific Advertising Clubs Association.

Mr. Nelson joined the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce in 1921, serving as vice president and president. He was president of the Salt Lake Rotary Club and Bonneville Knife and Fork Club and vice president of the Utah Symphony board. During World War II, he headed publicity committees for the American Red Cross and salvage and war bond campaigns. He was chairman of the public information committee for the $10 million University of Utah Medical Center fund-raising campaign in 1958.

He was born Jan. 11, 1897, in Manti and attended East High School, which honored him with a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1988. He was a member of the Monument Park 12th Ward, Salt Lake Monument Park Stake, and a member of the high priests quorum.

The funeral will be Friday noon in the Monument Park 12th Ward, 2795 E. Crestview Drive (1000 South). Friends may call at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple, from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday and from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Friday at the ward building. Burial will be in the Salt Lake City Cemetery.