VEARL VIRGIL NELSON
Vearl Virgil Nelson, 82, Green Valley, Ariz., loving husband, father and grandfather passed away peacefully with family at his side on Feb. 3, 2013, from complications of Parkinson's disease. He is preceded in death by his daughter Peggy Jo, brother Lyle, parents Virgil and Lillian, and best friend Jerry Bodin.
Vearl was born April 18, 1930, in Oklee, Minn., and there met and married his wife of more than 60 years, Elizabeth (Bette) Gibeau. They spent their early years traveling abroad with the U.S. Air Force through France and Germany and eventually settled in Duluth, Minn. In 1970, they relocated to Ely, Minn., where Vearl worked as the hospital administrator for 19 years. After serving 8 years on active duty in the U.S. Air Force, Vearl also served 27 years in the Air National Guard at the Duluth Air Base, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He acted for many years as a liaison to the Air Force Academy. Upon retirement, Vearl and Bette spent winters in Green Valley, Ariz., and eventually made it their permanent home. Vearl was an avid golfer and outdoorsman for many years. He was actively involved in his community and church with the Knights of Columbus, Kiwanis, Toastmasters and the American Legion. Besides his loving wife, Vearl is survived by his children Nancy Engel, Cheryl Rozier, Mark Nelson, Scott Nelson and Lisa Klonne; grandchildren Kristen Musich, Kyle and Brett Rozier, Dan Nelson, Kaitlyn and Paige Nelson, Joshua, Zachary, Nicholas and Lucas Klonne; sisters Carol Defrang, Bonnie Jensen (Alvin), and Betty Janik; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jerome and Jane Dufault; sisters-in-law Gen Nelson and Anita Gibeau; many nieces and nephews and special friends. Memorial service and a celebration of life will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 8, at Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church in Green Valley, Ariz., with inurnment at a later date in Ely, Minn. The family would like to give special thanks to the staff of Casa Colina Assisted Living in Green Valley for the extraordinary care they provided to Vearl in his last few weeks. Memorials preferred to Casa Colina Assisted Living Home, 3100 Calle Dos, Green Valley, AZ 85614.