And on the 8th day, God looked down on his planned paradise and said, "I need a caretaker," so God made a farmer.
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On the 28th day of March 2016, Richard Dale Nelson, 88 of Atlantic, was called upon by our Father to join him in his paradise. Funeral services for Richard "Dick" Nelson, age 88, of Atlantic, were held 10:30 a.m., Thursday, March 31, 2016, at the Kessler Funeral Home in Exira.
Richard was born April 30, 1927 to Anton & Thea (Topp) Nelson on their family farm in Audubon County, Hamlin Township. He was baptized and confirmed in the Hamlin Lutheran Church and attended the Hamlin #4 country school through the 8th grade. Richard and his 9 siblings loved living on a farm and helping their parents with chores. He continued to carry this passion for farming and livestock with him through his entire life. Richard was drafted into the United States Army and eventually obtained a PFC ranking. He served in World War II (September 1946-May 1947) receiving a WWII Victory medal and in the Korean War (January 1953- November 1953) where he earned a Bronze Service Star, a United Nations service medal, and the National Defense service medal.
Richards's family farm became home to newlyweds Richard and Lois (Christensen) after they were united in marriage on March 17, 1950 at the Lutheran Parsonage in Audubon. The couple raised chickens, hogs, dairy cows, and were row crop farmers. In 1958, the couple moved to a farm in Oakfield Township. To this union were born 3 children: twin daughters Denise and Donna, and one son David. The family continued to farm, milk cows, and enjoyed showing horses and participating in outdoor activities in their spare time. Richard was also employed as janitor at the Exira High School and was bus driver for the Exira and Atlantic school districts until 2005. The couple retired from farming and moved to Atlantic in 1995.
Richard and Lois enjoyed spending time with family and friends and playing cards. Richard was a member of the Exira Lutheran Church and Brayton Legion.
Richard and Lois were very devoted to their children and grandchildren by following their activities at horse shows, sheep shows, and all school related events for the Exira Vikings and Exira-Elk Horn-Kimballton Spartans. Recently, their presence at school and community events has been greatly missed by many, as failing health and declining mobility limited their ability to attend those activities. In February 2016, Richard became a resident of the Heritage House.
We take comfort knowing Richard is again living an active life on his heavenly farm, once again enjoying a drive on his beloved Allis-Chalmers tractor down a quiet country road.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, his mother and father-in-law, Marius and Hanna Christensen; brothers, Nels (Anna) Nelson, Arnold (Pearle) Nelson, Gunnerth (Laura) Nelson and Andrew; sisters, Martha (Axiel) Nielsen, Mable (Hoger) Knudsen, Tilda Lykke, Hannah (Willie) Lange, and Rose Davis; brother-in-law, Harvey (Silva) Christensen; and a nephew, Jody Christensen.
He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Lois Nelson of Atlantic, IA; two daughters: Denise (Larry) Kendle of Audubon, Donna (Ted) Hansen of Audubon, one son: David Nelson and friend Heather Lund of Exira; four grandchildren: T.J. Hansen of Exira, Justin (Beth) Hansen of Exira, Chelsea Nelson and special friend Nick Enfield of Collins, Chansea Nelson of Fremont, Neb.; 2 great-grandchildren: Hayden Hansen of Atlantic, Breysen Hansen of Exira; brother-in law and sister-in-law: Bernard (Barb) Christensen of Audubon; and several nieces and nephews.
Kessler's Exira Funeral Home
234 W South St
Exira, IA 50076
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Apr. 1 to Apr. 8, 2016