Madison, WI--John R. Nelson was born in Madison, Wisconsin in May 1939.He passed away October 28, 2012 at his home in Shorewood Hills. He was a man who fully enjoyed exploring life. During the last year, his health was poor but he enjoyed bike rides in the company of his dog. He was a remarkable and eclectic man. Early on, he left this quiet town to join the hippie movement in San Francisco. He was not only an art lover, but also a friend of many artists. During his years as a cable car conductor in San Francisco that from the mid 60-the mid 90s, he was also a self-appointed SF tourist guide. He was always a hippie. And, he was also a history junkie, a storyteller, and most important a maker of stories. If you ever saw a Santa Family with a dog at the Hildalle Mall, in Madison, you have probably met John. He enjoyed being the most real looking Santa Claus in town. Since Santa never dies, John’s stories will live in the memories of those of us who met him. John’s friends said that he was a great man. Perhaps, that is all we need to know. We will love and miss him eternally. He is survived by his wife, his dog, and all others alive.