Dorene Nelson

dorene nelson

Dorene Ann (Benting) Nelson, 82, Fargo, North Dakota, died peacefully November 12, 2012, at Essentia Health Hospital, Fargo. She had been a resident at Bethany on 42nd, Fargo, since March 2010.

She was born September 25, 1930, in Hillsboro, North Dakota, to Herman and Clara (Thompson) Benting. She grew up on the family farm located east of Hillsboro, North Dakota, and graduated from Hillsboro High School in 1946. She married Bertel J. Nelson at Clifford, North Dakota, October 15, 1951.

Prior to her marriage, she worked as a secretary in the Traill County Engineer’s office at the courthouse from the time she graduated from high school. She was also church organist at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Hillsboro, for many years.

They farmed one mile east of Clifford. Into this union, five children were born. Dorene was church organist at Norman Lutheran Church, Clifford, and was a long-time piano and organ teacher for students in that area. When the farm was sold in 1969, the family moved to Fargo.

Dorene was manager of the printed sheet music department at Daveau Music Company (later purchased by Schmitt Music) in downtown Fargo for many years.

Following her time at Daveau’s, she began teaching piano and organ lessons in her home before developing Music, Incorporated, a music teaching business which featured several instructors of music including piano, organ, stringed instruments, drums and more. Due to health reasons, she was unable to continue the business in the late 1970s but spent many years after that teaching piano to students of all ages in her home in North Fargo.

She had been a member of First Lutheran Church, Fargo. She was an avid student of her well-worn Bible and made it a point to read it through each year for many years. It gave her great pleasure to quote from memory many uplifting scripture passages that encouraged and supported her throughout her life.

She is survived by one brother, Duane (Mae) Benting, Portland, Oregon; five children, Gary Nelson, Hankinson, North Dakota, Joyce (Joe) Avila, Bella Vista, Arkansas, Lynda Nelson, Rochester, Minnesota, Daniel (Gail) Nelson, Fargo, and Denese (Ron) Odegaard, Fargo; and two granddaughters, Erin Odegaard, Fargo, and Amy Odegaard, Fargo.

She was preceded in death by Bertel; parents, Herman and Clara; and sister, Isabelle (Palmer) Sundby.

The family especially thanks the staff at Bethany on 42nd and Essential Health Hospital for their excellent and gracious care.

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Memories Timeline


  1. Harwood ND
    We are sorry we missed the funeral. We were out of town for a sporting event for Jamie. Dorene was a wonderful, sweet lady that I adored. I brought my daughter Jamie to her for lessons for a number of years and would bring along my mother, Elsie Grimsley, and we would sit and read while Jamie had her lesson and then we would visit a little before and after. We cherish those memories. She will be missed very much. My mother passed away in 2010 and also loved her visits with Dorene. My condolences to the family, Bev
    Dorene was always friendly and very patient as my piano teacher. I looked forward every week to rehearse with her and see what she could teach me. She was a wonderful lady and will be missed. I will always hold a special place in my heart for her. Jamie

  2. Clifford North Dakota
    My sympathy to Duane, and all of Dorene’s Children.
    She was a great piano teacher.
    God Bless the memories..

  3. Although I did not know your dear loved one, I saw the obituary online and wanted to send along my condolence. I know this is a very difficult time for the family. Something that has always given me comfort is a scripture at Revelation 21:4, it says, “And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.” I sincerely hope this brings you some comfort.

    Dorene sounded like a special lady.

  4. Fargo ND
    “Long after a life is gone, something beautiful remains.”

    That beauty lies in the family members Dorene has graced us with and whom we are lucky enough to call our friends. We share in your sorrow and keep you in our hearts always.

  5. Mayville ND
    My deepest sympathy to all of you. Can you imagine the music in heaven at this point? She’s got everybody rockin’ and rollin’.

    Since I teach piano lessons myself and do a lot of piano and organ playing, Dorene is always in my thoughts. How in the world did she teach me some of those songs???? I cringe to think of what they actually sounded like when we started (maybe when we ended too!!).

    She was an awesome lady and will be missed and remembered by all of her piano and organ students. Job–well done!

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