If you asked Donald Bernard Nelson he would say he was born in the “first month, 28, ‘38” in Fargo, ND.  His parents were Martha B. Ness and Oliver B. Nelson. He attended school in Wolverton, MN, withdrawing in 8th grade to support his family after the passing of his father. His first job was cleaning rollerskates at the community hall in Wolverton. He was a volunteer firefighter for the community while he lived there. He began his career moving homes at Mathison Home Movers in Breckenridge and then worked for Valley House Movers. He continued work in the woodshop at Silverline Boats in Moorhead, and also building for Eagle Construction in the F-M area. He retired in 1998, but continued doing what he loved in his shop as a hobby, creating exquisite woodwork projects. Donald married Yvonne Bates on December 17, 1955. Together they had one daughter and four sons; raising them in Wolverton and the Comstock rural area. They moved into Moorhead upon Don’s retirement. After his wife passed away in 2001 he moved to his dream log home in Pelican Rapids. He met Judi Bailey-Brown in 2008 and they have shared love and happiness. He loved life, spending time with friends and family. He enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, gardening, hunting, wood cutting, and caring for his rural property. Spending hours in his shop in long conversations with friends and working on projects was always time well spent. He was passionate about cars, motorcycles, and his trike; taking several cycle trips over the years.  He enjoyed  long or short trips and some of his destinations included Alaska, California (Redwoods National Forest), Yosemite National Park, Yellowstone National Park, the Black Hills, Branson-MO, Sturgis-SD, Glacier National Park, and Mt. Lassen. After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1999, Donald was blessed with remission for many years. The cancer later returned and after a three year battle Donald passed away peacefully on January 31, 2017 at Bethany Homes in Fargo with his family by his side. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Yvonne, his brother Allen, a baby sister, and a grandchild. He is survived by his companion and partner Judi Bailey-Brown; children; Ginger Meyer (Mark Bernstein) Fargo; Todd Nelson, Breckenridge; Craig Nelson (Liz), Moorhead; Alan Nelson (Amy), Eau Claire, WI; Mitch Nelson (Brenda), Moorhead, MN; seventeen grandchildren and twenty-one great-grandchildren. We, his family, would like to give special thanks to Dr. Preston Steen, Roger Maris Cancer Center at Sanford Health, and Bethany Homes staff for their expertise and genuine care for Donald during his greatest battle. And to Judi, his angel on Earth, thank you for all your love, devotion and care.  Words cannot express what you have done for him and our family. Visitation will be 3-5 p.m., with the prayer service at 5 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 5, at Boulger Funeral Home and Celebration of Life Center in Fargo. The funeral service will be held at 2 p.m., Monday at Boulger Funeral Home with visitation one hour before the funeral. Burial will be in Salem Cemetery in Wolverton, MN.

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  1. We send our deepest sympathies to Judy and the Nelson family. Sorry we couldn’t make it to the funeral. Please know that were are there with you in thought and prayers.

  2. We are saddened to learn of Don’s passing. Prayers for peace as you gather to remember, and may you find comfort in seeing just how far the gifts of a creative, generous, loving man can reach. God bless you all.

  3. We share in the sorrow that Judi and Don’s family is now experiencing. Don was an ‘awesome’ guy, we are fortunate to have had him in our lives. Memories of working and playing with Don will be relived in our hearts and minds the rest of our days. Rest in Peace Don, we’ll never forget you.

  4. May the God of all comfort be with you at this time of loss and give you peace. Love and Prayers

  5. Sorry I am not there to say goodbye to one of the best friends I have ever had. He will be deeply missed. Our most sincere condolences to Judi and the entire Nelson family.

  6. I R ember the Nelson Family from 1970 at the Linden Shores on Lida Lake were I worked at the age of 15 and 16. Todd used to fallow me around and Help Out, Then when Don moved to his house on highway 3 Erhard, Just up the road from me. He was a Great GUY and FRIEND. He will be Missed! Tom Holdeman.

  7. Dear Don – May you happily ride with the angels in leathers. And teach them all to play pool handily. See you at a later rally. I’ll make sue Judi is ok. Peace & love to you Sir.

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