My mom’s obituary

I did not publish a post last week because it was so busy after my mom died. I thought it might be nice to post her obituary which I wrote prior to her death.

Alice Fern Nelson, 79, of Thief River Falls, MN died Monday, October 4, 2010 at Thief River Care Center.

Funeral Services will be 2:00 PM, Saturday, October 9, 2010 at Zion Lutheran Church in Viking, MN with Pastor Rena Peterson and Rev. George Davis officiating. Burial will follow at Landstad Cemetery of rural Thief River Falls.

Visitation will be held Friday from 5-8 PM at Johnson Funeral Service in Thief River Falls, MN with a Prayer Service at 7:00 PM. Visitation will also be for one hour prior to the funeral service at the church on Saturday.

Alice Fern Nelson was born May 3, 1931 to Emil and Hannah (Baird) Zavoral at their home in Erie, MN. She graduated from Goodridge High School in 1949. She worked in Thief River Falls for Dr. Jacobson as a Dental Assistant and took great pride in handling the secretarial duties at his office. Dr. Jacobson was president of the Minnesota School Board Association at that time and Alice was proud to help him with those duties. She met Victor Eugene (Gene) Nelson at a youth dance in the auditorium in Thief River Falls; they married on June 16, 1951. They first rented a farm near Thief River Falls then later purchased their farm near Viking in 1953. She worked beside her husband on their dairy farm and was an equal partner in the work and their farm’s success. Alice later worked as a teacher’s aide at Viking School, loved the job and the children.

Alice was a member of Zion Lutheran Church in Viking and made sure each child attended confirmation and took sermon notes. She served as Sunday School Superintendant and President of the Ladies Aid at church. She liked Circle and tying quilts. She decorated beautiful cakes and patched clothes. She sewed her children’s snowmobile suits, made a home that created good people and cooked Christmas suppers that are still lodged in the collective memories of those left to mourn her passing. She did macramé, crocheted and could write in calligraphy. She loved to bake bread and her kolache pastry was a staple item in the multiple care packages she made for her children as each one left home. She loved to garden and had a large, well-kept lawn. Her beautiful irises were divided after she and Gene left the farm and now live on in the flower beds of her extended family. She wanted to leave something of herself and so planted trees which still give shade today.

If you could have seen Alice through the eyes of her children, you would see an amazing woman. Whether she was feeding them freshly-peeled tomatoes with sugar or creating multiple-layered treasures inside a lunch pail; she never let her children come close to hunger. She made numerous car trips to make sure her children participated in more extra-curricular activities than a farm kid should expect, then do their chores so they could study (or watch some television) and not fall behind in school. She even took pity on a young son who decided one Monday morning to tell his mother of the need of a binder for a school project which was due- Monday morning. Alice quickly created a binder covered in handkerchiefs which made the project a complete success. On family trips, Alice would fry hamburgers then place them on home-made buns for roadside lunch. She packed the burgers in a pressure cooker and their residual heat would melt butter into the bun for one incredible meal. Alice was also a great presence in the lives of her grandchildren and had a big part in making them successful, happy adults.

Alice is survived by her husband of 59 years, Gene, daughter Deborah (Mike) Waterworth of Thief River Falls, MN and sons; David (Mary) Nelson of Carrington, North Dakota, Steve (Jeana) Nelson of Viking, MN, Darrel (Melanie) Nelson of Argyle, MN and Grant (Lisa) Nelson of Thief River Falls, MN 9 grandchildren: Reed Waterworth, Ryan(Kristin) Nelson, Erin (Jeff) Kummer , Sara (Dean) Pennington, Jamie Nelson, Andy (Bridget) Anderson, Lynel (Brad) Svir, Danielle (Tony) Kuznia and Derik (fiance-Nan Pietruszewski) Nelson. 11 great-grand children; Cade Kuznia, Hale Kuznia, Peyton Nelson, Tyler Nelson, Casey Nelson, Clay Nelson, Madison Svir, Nick Svir, Tevin Douglas, Aaron Douglas, and Justin Anderson, sister, Wilma Olson, Thief River Falls, MN, 3 sisters in law: Betty Olson, Phyllis (Wilbert) McGregor, Marian Finstad, brother in law, Orville Janzen.

Alice was preceded in death by her son Douglas Nelson, great-grandson Grady Nelson, her parents, sister Gladys Janzen, sisters in-law June Scholin and Kathleen Flaten and brothers in-law John Nelson, Gordon Olson, Donald Olson, Vernon Scholin, Kermit Finstad and Gilmore Flaten.

ORGANIST: Diane Waterworth
SOLOIST: David Nelson “In the Garden”
SOLOIST: Jane Anderson “The Lord’s Prayer
CONGREGATIONAL HYMNS: Will the Circle Be Unbroken, Rock of Ages
CASKETBEARERS: Ryan Nelson, Jamie Nelson, Derik Nelson, Reed Waterworth, Andrew Anderson, Erin Kummer, Danielle Kuznia, Sara Pennington, Lynel Svir

2 thoughts on “My mom’s obituary

  1. You can certainly see your enthusiasm in the paintings you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers such as you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.


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