Gladys Nelson, 91, Austin

Published 9:56 am Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Gladys I. Nelson, 91, of Austin, died Sunday, July 10, 2011, at Comforcare Good Samaritan Society in Austin.


Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin with Todd Portinga, associate in ministry, officiating. Visitation will be held at Clasen-Jordan Mortuary from 4 to 7 p.m. today and at the church on Wednesday for one hour prior to the service. Interment will be at Rose Creek Enterprise Cemetery.

Gladys was born on Jan. 23, 1920, near Warren, the daughter of Carl Otto and Maren Kristine (Ditlefsen) Mortensen. She was one of 10 children. She lost both her parents when she was 5 years old and lived for a time at the Wild Rice Children’s Home. At the age of 10, she lived with the Emil and Bertha Hanson family in Mission Hill, S.D. She attended grade school and one year of high school in Mission Hill. In 1936, she moved to Austin to join her siblings. She attended one year of high school in Blooming Prairie and graduated from Austin High School in 1939. She was baptized at the Wild Rice Children’s Home in 1930 and confirmed in Mission Hill, S.D., in 1933. On Oct. 1, 1940, she was married to Kenneth P. Nelson by The Rev. Noss at the St. Olaf Church parsonage. They were married for 53 years. Ken and Gladys farmed north of Rose Creek, and Gladys worked at Red Cedar Inn and at St. Olaf Hospital for 22 years before she retired.

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Gladys was a member of St. Olaf Lutheran Church in Austin. She was also a lifetime member of the Danish Sisterhood of America and a charter member of the Rose Creek BBB Club. She enjoyed knitting mittens, playing cards and visiting with friends and family. She truly enjoyed her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She also knit and donated hundreds of mittens and cast socks that were sent to the Gillette Children’s Hospital.

Gladys is survived by her children, Coralie (Dayton) Rayman of Glenville, Linda (Jim) Lind of Rose Creek, and Paul (Coni) Nelson of Austin; daughter-in-law: Mary Nelson of Stockton, Calif.; eight grandchildren: Jeff Kloehn (Annlee Ellingson) of Los Angeles, Calif., Denise Nelson of Stockton, Calif., Deanna (Dean) Davis of Oakdale, Calif., Sara (Dan) Davis of Lodi, Calif., Jodi (Mike) Munson of Rose Creek, Jeni (Eric) Loftus of Stewartville, Emily Nelson of Austin, and Erin Nelson of Austin; two step-grandsons: David (Amy) Rayman of Stewartville, and Adam (Amanda) Rayman of Glenville; 10 great-grandchildren: Sage and Brooke Davis, Logan, Mason, Luke and Brayden Davis, Connor and Claire Munson, Kayden and Hannah Loftus; (An 11th great-grandchild is due in August); sisters: Florence Glover of Austin, Arlene Smeby of Owatonna, Dorothy Nelson of Oak Harbor, Wash.; brother: Robert Karstensen of Marengo, Ill.; sisters-in-law: Vera Mortensen of Blooming Prairie, Gloria Mortensen of Warren, and many nieces and nephews.

Gladys was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth in 1993; son Ronald G. Nelson in 2001; three brothers and two sisters.

Gladys’s family gives a special thank you to the nurses, caregivers and staff at Comforcare for their care of their mom these last few months.

The family prefers memorials to Comforcare Good Samaritan Society or to the donor’s choice.