Funeral services for John W. Nelson, 85, were conducted by Pastor Steven Frock and Pastor Dwayne Ferguson on Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at 11 a.m. at the Kessler Funeral Home in Exira. Interment was in the Oakfield Cemetery east of Brayton. The honorary casket bearers were Sarah Zach, Leslie Irwin, Molli Miller, Marissa Miller, Adrian Zach, Meghan Zach, Luci Irwin, Ty Nelson, and Lane Nelson. The casket bearers were Eric Nelson, Jamie Zach, Brady Miller, Trevor Schroeter, Matt Irwin, and Nelson Zach. The Kessler Funeral Home in Exira was in charge of the arrangements.
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John William Nelson, the son of William and Mabel Salveson Nelson, was born March 30, 1929, at the Nelson Family farm southeast of Brayton, and died April 5, 2014, at the Exira Care Center in Exira, at the age of 85 years, and 5 days.
John was baptized at the Exira Lutheran Church in Exira, and confirmed at the Oak Hill Lutheran Church west of Brayton. He attended rural school Exira #9 in Exira Township, Audubon County, and then graduated from the Exira High School with the Class of 1947. He attended Iowa State College where he studied agriculture. John then returned home to help operate the family farm.
On June 18, 1950, he was united in marriage to Lucille Mildred Brewer at the Disciple Christian Church in Atlantic. They lived on and operated the Nelson family farm where they grew row crops and raised livestock. While farming he also was a carpenter. He was employed with American Building and helped finish the Valley 66 Station. In 1973, they purchased the first large round baler in the area and for the next 19 years he baled hay for many of the farmers in a five county area. In 2010, they retired from farming and moved into Exira. Later he moved to the Exira Care Center on May 11, 2011.
John was a member of the Brayton Lutheran Church in Brayton. He was a past member of the Exira Lions Club. They enjoyed camping and were members of the Audubon County Travelers since 1978. They attended all the local, state, district, and national conventions. They especially enjoyed camping with the grandchildren. He was an avid blood donor and would travel to different blood banks donating over 10 gallons of blood. He enjoyed woodworking, woodcarving, fishing, hunting, and raised a large garden after he retired.
Preceding him in death were his parents: W.A. and Mabel Nelson; his parents-in-law: Harry and Pearl Brewer; his brother-in-law Arlo Heggen; his sister-in-law Jana Brewer; and his nephew Richard Heggen.
Survivors include his wife Lucille Nelson of Exira; his children: Duane and wife Mel Nelson of Casey; Lavonne and husband Neil Schroeter of Brayton; Kevin and wife Candis Nelson of Brayton; Carol and husband Monti Miller of Woodward; his daughter-in-law: Janet and husband Fred Klute of Atlantic; his grandchildren: Sarah and husband Jamie Zach of Exira; Eric Nelson and fiancé Mindy Hall of Walnut; Leslie and husband Matt Irwin of Omaha, Neb.; Trevor and wife Rebecca Schroeter of Aurora, Ore.; Marissa Miller of Windsor Heights; Molli Miller of West Des Moines; Brady Miller of Woodward; his step-grandchildren: Natalie and husband Steve Ritter of Atlantic; and Wade and wife Lindsay Harris of Des Moines; his great- grandchildren: Nelson Zach, Meghan Zach, and Adrian Zach all of Exira; Lane Nelson and Ty Nelson both of Walnut; and Luci Ann Irwin of Omaha; his sisters: Edna Heggen of Huxley; Olive and husband Charles Ferguson of Lake View; his brother-in-law Lyle Brewer of Atlantic; his step-great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Kessler's Exira Funeral Home
234 W South St
Exira, IA 50076
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Apr. 11 to Apr. 18, 2014