Barbara Louella Nelson

Barbara Louella Nelson

Stevensville - Barbara Louella Nelson, 75 of Stevensville passed away Monday, January 4, 2021 at Community Medical Center in Missoula, Mt. The daughter of the late Lyle and Opal Bourassa.

Barbara was raised in Helena and attended Helena Cathedral High School graduating in 1963. She lived in the family home on Poplar St with her younger sisters Lyla, Cheri and brother Ken. She loved her early years in Helena going to her grandparents cabin on Canyon Ferry Lake in the summers. Upon graduating from high school she attended nursing school at St. Patrick's Hospital in Missoula. She then attended Western Montana College in Dillon where at a sock hop dance she met Neil Nelson. Barbara and Neil were married in 1967 in Helena and enjoyed the next 53 years together. Following Neils teaching career they moved to Antelope, MT in the fall of 1969. Shortly after arriving in Antelope son Kyle arrived. In 1972 son Glenn arrived. In those years she enjoyed supporting Neil's coaching & teaching career. In the summers they worked at Hell's Half Acre Lookout on the Bitterroot National Forest.

She loved those summers in the mountains enjoying family & friends that came to visit. Barbs warm & generous heart were hallmarks of her life endearing her to people wherever she went. In 1977 the family moved to Melstone, MT where she worked as a substitute teacher and in the summer of 1979 the family moved to Eureka, MT where they remained for the next 20 years. During those years Barb was the "do it all" mom, supporting her sons sports endeavors, camping, fishing, hunting & numerous adventures traveling across the United States. She was a great example to her kids instilling in her boys the love of work and play and always giving your best in whatever you do in life. While living in Eureka, Barb worked at a Christmas tree farm, bank teller, a cook before starting her own travel agency & escrow service in 1987 that she ran and operated for 10 years. In 1999 Neil and Barb moved to Libby, MT where she worked summers as a cook for Big Sky Catering & substitute teacher in the winter. Barb was a culinary artist when it came to working in the kitchen and shared her many talents with friends and family.

In 2008 she retired for good so she & Neil could spend time traveling and enjoying life long hobbies of gardening, knitting, camping (RV), boating & fishing and of course cooking. Barb loved her family dearly & loved spending time with them. Her family & many friends loved her as she loved them. In 2010 she became a grandma, mom was absolutely thrilled & loved her grandkids, Jett & Londynn . She and Neil made numerous trips to Alaska and shared many adventures with them.

In 2011 Barb & Neil moved to Stevensville, MT enjoying her retirement years with very good friends, neighbors & family. Mom loved life and life loved her back. She was always positive and remained strong and upbeat even when her health started to decline. We love you mom and we know you are looking over us.

She is survived by her husband Neil of Stevensville, two sons, Kyle of Williston, ND, Glenn & wife Tyann and grandchildren Jett Michael & Londynn Marie of Wasilla, AK. Sisters Lyla Stuart (Mark Fifield), Cheri Larson (John), brother Ken Bourassa (Melinda). Brother-in-laws Hal (Carolyn) Nelson, Steve (Shirley) Nelson, sister-in-law Deb (Bob) York. Also surviving are ten nieces and nephews along with grand nieces and nephews and many many cousins/aunts/uncles from the Bourassa, Flickinger and Nelson families. They were all a very important part of Barb's life.

The family would also like to thank the medical staff at Community Medical Center and especially those attending to her needs in the comfort room.

A celebration of life is planned for Barb in June. In lieu of flowers the family requests that memorials be made to Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: https://www.rmef.org/donate/memorials-honoraria/

Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.whitesittfuneralhome.com.


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Published by Helena Independent Record on Jan. 8, 2021.
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