Gordon Nelson

March 30, 1945 ~ December 16, 2023 (age 78) 78 Years Old

Gordon Nelson Obituary

Gordon C. Nelson, 78, Groton, died on December 16, 2023, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Funeral services will be 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 22, 2023, at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Groton, with Pastor Jeremy Yeadon officiating. Visitation will be at the church one hour prior to the service. Burial will be at Sunset Memorial Gardens, Aberdeen, SD, following the service.

Gordon was born in Aberdeen, SD, on March 30, 1945, to Clarence and Margaret (Stefan) Nelson. He was educated at River Side Country School and graduated from Aberdeen Central High School in 1963. 

He married Dorene Sager on June 29, 1963. To this union two children were born, Carmel in 1964 and Corey in 1970. He was a dedicated family man who especially enjoyed his children and his four grandchildren (who he would get in trouble with) and their activities.

Gordon and Dorene frequently traveled to Minnesota to attend their grandchildren’s birthday parties, music concerts, Christmas programs, graduation ceremonies, weddings, and other important events.

Gordon was employed by Milbrandt & Grote Heating and Air Conditioning, Aberdeen, SD, from 1963 – 1970. He worked for Ell’s Sheet Metal until 1987 when he and his partner purchased the business, changing the name to Custom Sheet Metal. They also started an art gallery which focused on wildlife prints. He and his partner eventually sold both businesses with Gordon remaining part-time at the sheet metal shop for many years.

Gordon was involved in many community activities. He taught hunter safety in Aberdeen for over 35 years and was the official scorekeeper for all home boys and girls basketball games in Groton for 25 years. He served on the Groton City Council for several terms, drove the Groton Community Transit bus, and volunteered on the Brown County Fair Board for 6 years. He recently served on the City of Groton’s planning and zoning committee.

Gordon loved his cars. He built a new garage for his “toys,” and only got it because Dorene insisted on half of it for her woodworking shop. He enjoyed traveling and reading as well as working on jigsaw and crossword puzzles. He took many hunting trips to Canada, Wyoming, and Northern Minnesota as well as several salmon and trout fishing adventures on Lake Superior. He regularly visited with his Transit friends for coffee and to discuss local “news.”

He and Dorene traveled with their children to many places in the States. During retirement, they took cruises to Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, the Western Caribbean, and the Baltic Sea countries, including Russia, as well as bus trips to all the Eastern European countries.

Gordon was a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Groton, having served on the board of education and as an elder several times.

Preceding him in death were his parents, his brother Marvin, and a granddaughter Grace Anne Nelson.

Survivors include his wife, daughter Carmel (Gary) Willett, Carver, MN; son Corey (Brenda) Nelson, Rochester, MN; grandchildren Christopher (Cassie)Willett, Burnsville, MN; Nicholas Willett, Aurora, CO; and Hope and Isaac Nelson, Rochester, MN; sister-in-law Karen Nelson, Watertown, SD.; niece Nicole (Nelson-Williams) Pieske, St. Peter, MO; sister-in-law JoAnn Russ, Pueblo, CO; and two nephews, Ian Russ and Kyle Russ, Pueblo, CO, as well as many cousins and family members.

Pallbearers are Gordon’s son-in-law Gary Willett, his grandchildren Christopher Willett, Nicholas Willett, Hope Nelson, and Isaac Nelson, and his nephews Ian Russ and Kyle Russ.

Honorary pallbearers are the members of his coffee group: Tyke Nyberg, Dave Blackmun, Jay Johnson, Marc Johnson, Dave McGannon, Randy Stanley and John Wheeting as well as his friends and co-workers at Custom Sheet Metal.

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