Glenn Gustav Nelson died at his home at Welcome Home Assisted Living in Elmwood, WI on February 4, 2017.
He was born on April 26, 1923 in Spring Lake Township, WI. Glenn attended primary and secondary school in Elmwood and received his high school diploma in 1941. He then attended River Falls Teachers' College and received his Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and biological science in 1948.
His college career was interrupted in 1942 when he enlisted in the United States Army. Unable to fulfill his wish to become an Air Force pilot because of color blindness, he instead became a member of the Army infantry spending time in the Philippines, New Guinea and Japan. He did not regale friends and family with tales of his military service but rather spoke of the beauty of the Islands of the Pacific and its people. He was honored to be a part of the Freedom Honor Flight program in 2011 where he and fellow veterans attended a ceremony at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Upon returning to his home after the war, he married Dorothy Reinkey on May 25, 1946, a marriage that lasted 71 years. Their relationship began in high school where they were junior prom King and Queen. They were partners always in their life and work. They enjoyed their travels over the years to the North Shore, Norway, Germany, China and many sunny months in Panama City Beach.
For several years Glenn taught evening courses in agriculture to returning World War II veterans. His primary occupation, however, along with his family was that of a dairy farmer. He took great pride in his Holstein herd, his crops and efforts to conserve the land.
Glenn was active as a member and leader in many organizations. He was an active member of the Spring Lake Lutheran Church. He was a member of the Elmwood School Board for many years, serving as its president for most of that time. He was also involved over the years with the Hiawatha State Bank, Central Livestock Association, Farm Bureau, the American Legion, CESA 5 and the Sons of Norway.
He was proud of his community and until a few months prior to his death was engaged in efforts to entice new businesses and professionals to the village of Elmwood. He remained dedicated and interested in the affairs of his alma mater, the Elmwood School District. He truly epitomized the philosophy of "living in place".
He was proud of all his progeny and the lives that they created for themselves. He was a kind man who always searched for the good in others. His was a loyal and loving husband to his wife Dorothy and a life-long model to his children.
He was preceded in death by his father Gustav, his mother Inga and his stepmother Marie. His sister Ruth Swanson and her husband Richard also preceded him in death as well as his brother Galen and his wife Muriel and his sister Esther Lamon and her husband Arthur. Also preceding him in death were his mother and father-in-law Selma and Arnold Reinkey and brother-in-law John Reinkey.
He is survived by his wife Dorothy, his sons Greg and Arnie and daughters Carrie and Ann (Siegel) as well as their life partners Vicki, Lori, David and Jan. He is survived by his eight grandchildren of whom he was so very proud: Scott, Chad and Jodi Nelson, Matt and Sarah Siegel, and Derek, Tara and Tiffany Nelson. He was also fortunate to have 5 great-grandchildren: Brandon Nelson, Zoey and Mason Siegel, and Connor and Mason Hocking. He is also survived by his brother John and his wife Vera, his sister-in-law and her husband Pat and Ralph Ginsbach and his sister-in-law and husband Mildred and Robert Reitz as well as many nieces and nephews.
A visitation for family and friends will be held at Welcome Home Assisted Living (1121 Industrial Rd.) in Elmwood on Friday, February 10 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m. A funeral service will be held at the Spring Lake Lutheran Church on Friday February 11 at 10:30 a.m., followed by a gathering with all who wish to attend at Welcome Home Assisted Living in Elmwood.
Dorothy and her family wish to express their deep gratitude to all of their supportive friends and to the kind and attentive staff at Welcome Home who have lovingly cared for them the past two and one half years.
The family suggests that memorials, if desired, are directed to either the Spring Lake Lutheran Church or the Elmwood School District Alumni Fund. Online condolences may be made at www.rhielfuneralhome.com
Rhiel Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Elmwood is serving the family.