Richard W. "Dick" Nelson, 83, of Plainview, passed away Monday, Oct. 28, 2013, at Oregon Manor Nursing Home in Oregon, Wis. After a long journey with Alzheimer's, it is easy to lose sight of all that a person was.
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Who was Richard W. Nelson?
His life story began on April 6, 1930, in Lamberton, when he was sixth in a family of 10 born to Oscar and Esther (Krogh) Nelson. He spent his childhood around southwest Minnesota, and graduated from Tracy High School in 1949. He began college at Mankato State, but it was interrupted by the Korean conflict. He served his country as an MP in the Army and was stationed in Korea. He was awarded the Korean Service Medal, two Bronze Stars, United Nations Service Medal and a Combat Infantry Badge. When he returned from Korea, he began college at St. Cloud State University. His major was business and he taught 28 years in Plainview, where he also coached boys and girls basketball for many winning seasons. While attending St. Cloud State, he met and married the love of his life, Delores "Dee" Smith, celebrating their 59th anniversary on Aug. 15, 2013. They had two daughters, Blair and Marni. Dick also completed his masters of business at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley.
Multiple interests included traveling to nearly every state in the U.S. and spending four months in Europe visiting sites during two family vacations. The family also enjoyed camping in the summers. Dick had a keen sense of humor, enjoyed imparting clever quips and humorous stories. Dick also played guitar, piano, accordion and harmonica. Until very recently, he continued to play the piano and harmonica to entertain residents in the nursing home, always playing by "ear" since he couldn't read a note of music. He loved most sports and lettered in football, basketball and track in high school and track in college. Golfing was a lifelong love, a sport he taught both his daughters. Golfing was also his retirement sport of choice. He often gave advice to some who needed help. He enjoyed golf during the time he and his wife spent 18 winters in south Texas. He was also a member of Peace United Methodist Church, where he served the role of financial secretary for 20 years.
Richard is survived by his wife, Dee; two daughters, Blair Sanford (Scott) and Marni Noldin (Mari Reinheimer); one sister, Betty Meyer, Hillsdale, Mich.; two brothers, Robert Nelson, Hutchinson and David (Carol) Nelson, Hillsdale, Mich.; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. He has five grandchildren, Emily, Ellen and Jonathan Noldin and Will and Mary Sanford.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sisters, Juleen Paetzel, Ruth Detlefson, Carol Einertson, Jeannette Cunningham and Janice Miller and a brother, Howard Nelson.
Richard was a wonderful devoted husband, father, grandfather, uncle and brother as well as a good neighbor, teacher and friend to many. A truly good Christian man has left this earth, leaving a fine example to follow.
His family would like to thank everyone for your cards, emails and prayers during the past several months during his illness and subsequent decline. We also thank the caregivers at Sienna Meadows and Oregon Manor in Oregon, Wis., where he spent the last eight months.
Visitation is scheduled at Schad and Zabel Funeral Home in Plainview on Friday, Nov. 15, from 4 p.m to 7 p.m.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Nov. 16, at 11 a.m. preceded by visitation beginning at 10 a.m. at Peace United Methodist Church in Plainview. A burial service at Greenwood Cemetery will follow the luncheon.
Memorials may be directed to Peace United Methodist Church or Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Research.
Schad & Zabel Funeral Home in Plainview is in charge of the arrangements. schadandzabelfuneralhomes.com.
Schad & Zabel Funeral Home
57 3Rd St Sw Plainview, MN 55964
Published in The Post-Bulletin on Nov. 11, 2013