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OBIT: Gene A. “Geno” Nelson

Gene A. “Geno” Nelson, 69, of rural Lake Mills, passed away Friday, July 9, 2021 at MercyOne North Iowa Medical Center in Mason City.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 am Tuesday, July 13, 2021 at Bethany Lutheran Church, 201 Franke Street, Joice, with Pastor Bill Peters officiating. Inurnment will follow in Sion Lutheran Cemetery, rural Lake Mills.

Geno’s family will greet relatives and friends Monday evening, July 12, at Conner Colonial Chapel, 1008 1st Ave. S., Northwood, from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the service at the church on Tuesday.

Should friends desire, memorials may be left in Geno’s honor to Bethany Lutheran Church.

Gene Allen Nelson was born May 26, 1952 to parents Carl and Arlene (Ferley) Nelson. He grew up on the family farm outside of Northwood alongside his siblings, Marilyn, Larry, Julie, and Dennis and attended Northwood High School, graduating among the class of 1970.

After graduation Gene joined the Minnesota National Guard and was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Penny Willand. The young couple moved to Belmond where Gene worked as an electrician, first in Belmond and then in Clarion. A few years later, around 1975, they returned to Lake Mills after Penny’s father, Clarence, invited Gene to join in the family’s farming operation.

Geno and Penny were blessed with three children, Jeremy, Rachel and Anthony. Gene loved the land and continued the family tradition of farming for many years until his health no longer allowed him to do so. Over the years he worked as a grain and livestock farmer, provided custom windrowing services, and also ran an electrician business. Gene was also known as a Jack of All Trades and a true Mr. Fix It.

Geno will be remembered for his generosity, quick wit, and humor. He was always the first person to lend a helping hand and loved the camaraderie of small town living and knowing your neighbor would be there in your time of need just as fast as you would be in his.

In his free time Geno loved spending time with family and friends, including playing with his grandchildren, playing cribbage with his friends, hunting and fishing, as well as gardening. He loved cooking and canning, and always appreciated a good meal! He enjoyed wintering in Texas, but always looked forward to returning home in the Spring.

For many years Geno was a faithful member of Bethany Lutheran Church, and also served on the Joice Library Board and spent many years on the Heartland Power Board.

Although life presented Geno with many obstacles over the years, he never lost his faith, always remained strong willed, and always persevered.

Those grateful in sharing in his life include Penny and their children, Jeremy (Christina) Nelson and their children, Broderick, Brooklynn, and Brayden, of Epworth, IA, Rachel Nelson (Jeff Benesch) and their children, Madison and Ava, of Joice, IA, and Anthony (Miranda) Nelson and their children, Sophia, Camdon, and Calvin, of Lake Mills, IA; sister, Julie Nelson; sister in law, Bernette Nelson; numerous nieces and nephews, extended family and many friends.

Geno is preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Arlene Nelson; his in-laws, Clarence and Fern Willand; and his siblings, Marilyn King, Larry Nelson, and Dennis Nelson.

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