Wesley Nelson, 1920-2019

Published 1:00 am Thursday, September 12, 2019

Funeral services for Wesley R. Nelson, 99, of Albert Lea will be at 11 a.m. Saturday with military honors at Bridge Community Church in Albert Lea. The Rev. Mark Miller will officiate. Interment will be at Clarks Grove Baptist Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church Saturday. Online condolences are welcome at www.bayviewfuneral.com.

Wesley Nelson

Wesley Robert “Wes” Nelson died Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019, at Good Samaritan Society of Albert Lea. Wes was born June 8, 1920, in Alden, where he graduated high school and helped on the family farm southeast of town until he was 21.

In 1942 he enlisted in the Army Air Corp, serving as an airplane mechanic during World War II, spending the last time of his service on Iwo Jima. After returning from the war, Wes learned the trade of auto mechanics, which he applied during all of his working career. He was a longtime employee of Evans Motors. If something had an engine, Wes could make it run.

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Wes married Shirley L. Christian on Jan. 12, 1947. They were married 72 years. Wes and Shirley were longtime residents of Albert Lea. They lived in their house on East Eighth Street for 68 years. In that home they raised three children: Craig, Judy and Brian.

Given his strong Christian faith, Wes was very active in his church, Calvary Baptist Church, which is now Bridge Community Church. He served on church committees, loved singing in the choir and helped with youth groups. Wes spent countless hours maintaining and generally keeping the church ministry buses on the road.

For the past two years, Wes and Shirley have resided at Bancroft Creek Senior Apartments. At Bancroft Creek, Wes fully enjoyed the staff and residents. He especially enjoyed bible study and hymn sing with the Rev. Kent Otterman.

Wes was a dedicated Christian, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a tolerant, kind and gentle gentleman, honest as the day is long and known for his quick and dry wit.

Wes enjoyed watching Minnesota Twins and Vikings games. Family camping, golfing and applying his skills to make something useful in a second life were hallmarks for Wes.

Wes is survived by his wife, Shirley L.C. Nelson; daughter, Judy (Paul) Dilling; son, Brian (Cathy) Nelson; grandchildren Jeanne Dilling, Susie (Troy) Neist and their children Sadie and Levi, Zachary (Alisha) Nelson and their children Reese and Avery, and Hilary (Jason) Haddad and their children Alex and Jake; sister-in-law, Florence Christian; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Wes was preceded in death by son, Craig (Phyllis) Nelson; parents Nels and Mabel (Larson) Nelson; parents-in-law John Travis and Esther (Carlson) Christian; sister, Zola (Bob) Utzke; brothers Carroll (Margaret) and Manford (Deloris); brother-in-law, Robert Christian; nieces Gayle Lyon and Virginia Sandquist; and nephew, Gary Christian.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Youth for Christ, Mayo Clinic Cancer Center in Albert Lea or Mayo Clinic Hospice.