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OBIT: Richard Arlen Nelson

Richard Arlen Nelson, 86, of Mason City, passed away, Thursday, August 12, 2021 at Good Shepherd Care Center, Mason city.

Funeral Service will be held 10:30 a.m. Monday, August 16, 2021 at St. James Lutheran Church, 1148 4th Street SE, Mason City, with Rev. Sid Bohls and Rev. Jeni Bohls officiating. Burial will be held at the St. Ansgar Cemetery. Military honors will be conducted by the Mason city Veterans Honor Guard following the services.

Visitation will be held 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, August 15, 2021 at Hogan-Bremer-Moore Colonial Chapel, 126 3rd Street NE, Mason City.

Memorial contributions may be directed to St. James Lutheran Church, Special Olympics, and St. Croix Hospice.

Richard Arlen Nelson was born May 29, 1935, in rural Northwood, the son of Norris and Laura (Larson) Nelson. He was baptized at Elk Creek Lutheran Church and confirmed at Silver Lake Lutheran Church.

Richard served in the Army from October 29, 1954, to October 10, 1956. He received his GED at that time. He attended Waldorf College from 1958 to 1960. He went onto Buena Vista College graduating in 1962. He taught one year of elementary school in Decorah. In August 1963, he attended the University of Texas pursuing his Master’s degree while teaching at the Brown’s School of Exceptional Children.

While in Decorah, he met his wife, Marlys Miller. They were married in Decorah, August 16, 1964. That fall, he became a clinical instructor for the Cedar Rapids School System while continuing his master’s work at the University of Iowa. In the fall of 1967, he graduated with his Master of Arts in Special Education.

Richard and Marlys moved to Mason City in 1967. He taught at Madison Elementary, the Study Lab at NIACC and in Charles City where he taught severe and profound students for 10 years until his retirement. He continued working for a short time for Buena Vista University. Richard loved when former students would come up to him and say, “Hi, Mr. Nelson, you probably don’t remember me, but you were my teacher…..”

Richard loved to garden, raise livestock and attend activities of his children and grandchildren. His vegetable gardens on the acreage and in town were so large, there was plenty to share with family and friends. He enjoyed raising cattle, hogs, chickens, his turkeys and even a couple of kids.

Those left to cherish his memory are his wife Marlys; daughter, Gretchen (John) Holcomb; son, Dan (Chris) Nelson, five grandchildren, Mitchell Holcomb, Bridget Holcomb, Tyler (Taylor) Nelson, Zane Nelson and Cael Nelson; great grandson Rhett Nelson; sister Sharon (Art) Moretz, sisters in law, Jean Nelson, Judy Nelson, Janice (Duane) Anunson, Darlene (Delane) Behr; brother in laws Seymour Ferley and Ronald Miller; Russ Stahl, Terry, Greta and Damon Peterson, Georg and Robert Anhut, Joe Yoder; Kjersti Tau Strand; several nieces and nephews, and many extended family members and friends.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Norris and Laura Nelson, daughter in infancy, Gwen Marie Nelson; two brothers, Robert Nelson and Wayne Nelson; sister, Darlene Ferley, and sister-in-law, Darla Miller.

The family would like to thank the staff of Salvation Army Adult Day Care, Good Shepherd Health Center and St. Croix Hospice for the loving care.

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