Ralph Casper Nelson, 79, of Austin, died unexpectedly Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, at his home.
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Ralph was born Nov. 24, 1934, in Farmington, Minn., to Gehart and Adella Nelson. He grew up on a dairy farm in Lakeville, Minn. Upon graduation from Lakeville High School, he served in the United States Army. After receiving his honorary discharge from active military duty, he attended the University of Minnesota and received his degree in 1959. He was united in marriage to Gail McDonnell on Oct. 31, 1959, in Hopkins, Minn.
Ralph joined the Hormel Foods Company in the summer of 1959 and retired in 1995 after 35 years of employment. Most of his working career was in Human Resources and Operations. At the time of his retirement, he was the general manager of the Austin plant.
Ralph and Gail traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad. They had the privilege of visiting all seven continents and enjoyed wintering in Arizona. Their greatest enjoyment, however, came from spending time with family.
Ralph enjoyed golfing with family and friends, along with hunting and fishing with his son, son-in-laws and grandsons. He was also a fan of the University of Minnesota sports, Twins and Vikings. His dynamic personality, sense of humor and love of people will be deeply missed.
Ralph is survived by his wife, Gail Nelson; daughter, Snowell Pogones (Lance) of Austin; twins, Mike Nelson (Sherri) of Hudson, Wis., and Shelly Landherr (Kenny) of Prior Lake, Minn.; grandchildren Tyler, Molly and Matti Pogones, Ryan and Snowy Landherr, Josh and Julia Nelson; great grandchildren Romy Pogones and expected Bella Pogones; sister Snowell Raleigh (Don) of Lake Elmo, Minn.; finally his four-legged companion, Spike.
Ralph is preceded in death by his parents, Henry Gehart and Adella Nelson.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. at St. Olaf Lutheran Church, 306 2nd Street N.W., Austin. Visitation will be held at the Clasen-Jordan Mortuary, 209 2nd Ave. N.W., Austin, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 29, 2014.
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials, they will be distributed to Ralph's favorite charities.
Clasen-Jordan Mortuary - Austin
209 2nd Avenue NW
Austin, MN 55912
Published in The Post-Bulletin on Aug. 26, 2014