Ardys Nelson, 99, Albert Lea

Published 9:30 am Friday, October 11, 2013

Funeral services for Ardys K. Nelson, 99, of Albert Lea will be at 3 p.m. Saturday at Thorne Crest Retirement Community. The Rev. Jamie Cameron will officiate. Interment will be in the Clarks Grove Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at Thorne Crest on Saturday. Online condolences are welcome at

Ardys died on Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013, at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea.

Ardys Nelson

Ardys Nelson

Ardys Kathryn Jensen Fogdall Swenson Nelson was born on Jan. 14, 1914, in Geneva, the daughter of Martin and Adena (Frederickson) Jensen. She attended grade school in Geneva, graduated from Albert Lea High School in 1931, Winona Teacher’s College in 1936, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Minnesota in 1938. Ardys taught English in Bayport Junior High School, Bayport, Ellendale High School, Ellendale, and Ellis Junior High School, Austin. Ardys has been a member of the First Baptist Church of Clarks Grove since 1925. She was a member of the Austin Education Association, the Minnesota Education Association, and REAM (Retired Educator’s Association of Minnesota.)

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On Dec. 25, 1939, Ardys was united in marriage to Gordon S. Fogdall. They were blessed with three children, the Rev. Joan Porter, Stephen Fogdall and Jon Douglas Fogdall. After 20 years of being a homemaker and rearing the children, Ardys resumed teaching and then retired in 1975. Gordon retired in 1976 from the Austin High School administration. They enjoyed four years of retirement together before Gordon’s death in 1981. Ardys was married to Dr. Albin Swenson on July 28, 1984. They moved to Thorne Crest Retirement Center in 1987. She was again widowed in 1990.

Ardys was active at Thorne Crest. She played the piano for religious services, chaperoned disabled people at doctor visits, was president of the auxiliary, worked in the gift shop and was president of the Resident Council. On Jan. 11, 2003, Ardys married the Rev. Alvin Nelson. Both were active at Thorne Crest. Alvin died in 2012. Ardys enjoyed piano, knitting, crocheting, Hardanger, embroidery and crafts.

Survivors include her children, the Rev. Joan (Robert) Porter, Stephen (Bonnie) Fogdall and Jon (fiancee Dena Dean) Fogdall; grandchildren, Byron (Janell) Porter, Brent (Rebecca) Porter, Karin (Timothy Williamson) Porter-Williamson, Kaj (Brenda) Kolding, Kirk (Beth) Fogdall, Todd (Crystal) Fogdall, Joshua (Anna) Fogdall, Justin Fogdall and Jason Fogdall; great-grandchildren, Dane Fogdall, Eliza Fogdall, Owen Fogdall, Gannon Kolding, Delaney Fogdall, Kierney Fogdall, Ethan Porter, Collin Porter, Truman Porter, Kathryn Williamson and Samuel Williamson; sisters-in-law, Margaret Jensen, Fran Swenson, Julie VanHovel and Marlene Jensen; brothers-in-law, Palmer Swenson and Harlon (Evelyn) Swenson; step-children, Jim (Nan) Nelson, Jane Ann Nelson, Susan (Ken) Jump, the Rev. Frank (Rosemary) Nelson, Elaine (Tom) Wiggins, Mary Swenson and Karl (Chris) Swenson; and many step-grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Ardys was preceded in death by her husbands, Gordon, Albin and Alvin; her parents; brothers, Howard, Homer, Obel “Bud,” Owen and Warren; sisters, Gail Jensen and Ruth Skognes; and many extended family members.