Margaret Nelson, 92, Albert Lea

Published 3:20 pm Saturday, April 6, 2013

Funeral services for Margaret J. Nelson of Albert Lea will be at 10:30 a.m. today at Trinity Lutheran Church of Albert Lea. The Rev. Curtis Zieske will officiate. Interment will be in the Graceland Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour before the service at Trinity Lutheran Church.

Margaret Nelson

Margaret Nelson

Margaret died on Friday, April 5, 2013, at the New Richland Care Center of New Richland surrounded by her family.

Margaret Jennie (Gruis) Nelson was born Aug. 31, 1920, in Aplington (Butler County), Iowa, to Herman and Jennie Gruis. She attended Albert Lea Area Schools, growing up in the Hollandale area. Margaret was married to Lester O. Nelson on Aug. 9, 1944, in Tallahassee, Fla. She worked for the J.C. Penney store in Albert Lea for 27 years, working herself up to credit department manager in downtown Albert Lea and later at the Skyline Mall, retiring in 1969. She volunteered at the Albert Lea YMCA for many years, teaching swim lessons from toddlers to the Rusty Hinges class. She had learned to swim at age 55 having had polio earlier in life. She loved people and always had a smile on her face.

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Margaret greatly enjoyed her many coffee friends, doing a variety of crafts and teaching hardanger embroidery. She thoroughly enjoyed spending time with her grandchildren, attending all of their school activities and concerts. One of the highlights of her life was traveling to the Bahamas and snorkeling in the Bermuda Triangle. She volunteered at Naeve Hospital as an auxiliary member, becoming a lifetime member after many years of service.

Margaret was a member of the American Legion and a Gold Star Mother, as well as a member of Hayward Lutheran Church where she taught Sunday school. She later became a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Albert Lea.

Survivors include daughter, Judy (Tedd) Baumgardt of Clarks Grove; son, Larry Nelson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; two grandchildren, Paul Baumgardt of Scottsdale, Ariz., and Lori Hein of Ocala, Fla.; sisters in law, Adeline Gruis, of Cedar Falls, and Ardith Nelson of Albert Lea; brother-in-law, Harold Nelson of Rochester; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Lester; son, James L. Nelson; brother, the Rev. Herman Gruis Jr.; sister, Betty; and brother-in-laws, LaVerne, Robert and Glenn Nelson.

The family of Margaret wishes to extend a special thank you to the staff of the New Richland Care Center for their wonderful care and kindness shown to her during the last four years of her life.