Elgie Edward Nissen, D.V.M. MARION, SC - Elgie Edward Nissen, D.V.M., 93, husband of the late Olive Atkinson Nissen, passed away surrounded by his family on July 6, 2020. The youngest of nine children of Charles William and Lucille Cannon Nissen, he was born in Florence County on August 25, 1926. Elgie joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 and was stationed in Hawaii for most of his 4 years of service. He received an honorable discharge in 1946 and returned to Columbia to complete his high school education. Dr. Nissen attended the University of South Carolina and Clemson College to complete the necessary requirements for veterinary school. He entered veterinary school at Auburn University in 1949. In 1948, Elgie met the love of his life, Olive Atkinson. They were married in 1950 and Olive joined him in Auburn for the following three years. He received awards for excellence in large and small animal medicine at his graduation. Upon graduation the Nissens moved to Bennettsville, SC, where he practiced veterinary medicine for two years. In 1955, they moved to Marion, SC, where he bought and practiced at the Marion Animal Hospital for 56 years. He compassionately cared for his patients and their owners and was dedicated to giving them the best of care. He was a lifelong student and took great pride in keeping up with the latest in veterinary treatment through the many conferences he attended. Dr. Nissen was a lifelong member of the Presbyterian Church and was a very active member of the Marion Presbyterian Church. He served 4 terms as a deacon and was Chairman of the Board of Deacons for three of those terms. He later became an Elder in the church. Elgie taught Sunday School classes for many years, as well. Dr. Nissen very actively participated in various organizations in Marion. He served on the Board of Directors of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, Board of Directors of the United Way, and Board of Directors of Palmetto State Savings Bank. He was a member of Ducks Unlimited. He joined the Marion Rotary Club in 1955 and held a record for perfect attendance for 40 years. He served as president, board member, and chairman of many major committees. He was very involved in fundraising for Rotary and enjoyed practicing his auctioneering skills at the annual auction and barbeque! He was a Ten Star Rotarian and a Paul Harris Fellow. Dr. Nissen was a strong supporter of the South Carolina Association of Veterinarians and served as president of that organization. He served on the State Board of Veterinary Examiners for 11 years and was Chairman for two years. He received the Veterinarian of the Year Award from the SC Association of Veterinarians in 1986. In 2007 he was again honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award for his many years of service to his profession and the organization. He was a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association. He and Olive enjoyed attending national conventions through the years where they kept in touch with the many professional colleagues and friends. Elgie was a member of the Pee Dee Veterinary Association and the American Animal Hospital Association. Most of all, Elgie Nissen loved his family. He was a devoted family man, and there are many treasured memories of riding horses, singing in the truck with his children en route to large animal calls, and family weeks at the beach. He was a great dancer, and he and Olive taught all of their children to shag in the living room! Elgie loved hunting and fishing. He cherished opportunities to hunt and fish with his son and grandsons. He loved Clemson football, having supported IPTAY for 67 years. He was also faithful to his Auburn Tigers. He is predeceased by his wife of 68 years, his parents and all of his siblings. He is survived by two daughters, Jeannie N. King (Wayne) of Charleston, Clare N. McGill (Hack) of Chapin, and one son. ,John T. (Ted) Nissen (Janet) of Lexington. He was affectionately known to his grandsons as Doc. He was so very proud of his 4 grandsons, Henry B. McGill, III (Amanda), Kyle N. McGill, Davis L. King and John T. (J) Nissen, Jr. (Shannon) and many nieces and nephews. The family is very grateful for the loving care of Ann Turbeville and Alice Cullipher, their caregivers in recent years, his cardiologist for many years, Dr. Bruce Usher, and McLeod Hospice. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be sent to the Marion Presbyterian Church, PO Box 186, Marion, SC 29571 A graveside service will be held at 11 am on Saturday, July 11, 2020, at Rose Hill Cemetery directed by Richardson Funeral. Due to the Covid 19 pandemic, social distancing is strongly encouraged. The service will be streamed live on the Richardson Funeral Home facebook page for all those who are unable to attend. An online register is available at RichardsonFH.net
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Published by Charleston Post & Courier from Jul. 8 to Jul. 9, 2020.