University of Utah professor emeritus Claron Eschler Nelson, 86, died Sept. 16, 2008, in Salt Lake City.

Dr. Nelson was a former chairman of the U. Department of Economics and taught at the school for 48 years.

Blaine Smith, a resident of Fillmore and one of Dr. Nelson's students, said that Dr. Nelson always cared deeply for his students and teaching.

Smith first met Dr. Nelson as a freshman at the U. At that time, Dr. Nelson was serving as department chairman, yet he still took the time to teach freshman-level courses, Smith said.

"I always appreciated how Dr. Nelson cared about me as a person," Smith said. "He always made me feel that way, even though he must have had thousands of students over the years."

Dr. Nelson served as a member of the Bureau of Land Management board in Utah, working to establish Canyonlands National Park.

His son, Richard Nelson, said his father was always an advocate for the average man.

Dr. Nelson was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in numerous roles in his ward.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. today at the Highland Stake Center, 2738 S. Filmore St. (1540 East). Interment will be at the Millville, Cache County Cemetery.