Sister Yvonne Nelson, 79, a member of the Sisters of the Presentation, Fargo, died Wednesday, March 5, 2008 in the infirmary at Sacred Heart Convent. Sister Yvonne was born August 7, 1928, in Scobey, Montana, one of seven children born to Selmer and Elizabeth (Brown) Nelson. She attended grade school at Scobey School and graduated from high school at Sacred Heart Academy in Fargo. Mary Veronica Nelson, as she was known in school, was taught by the Sisters of the Presentation and entered the Order in Fargo in 1948 and received the name Sister Yvonne. She made her final Profession of Vows in 1954 and celebrated her Golden Jubilee of Profession in 2001. Sister graduated from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN in 1958, with a Bachelors Degree in English and Social Studies minor, and in 1968 she graduated from Marquette University with a Masters Degree in Secondary Administration. For twenty years Sister Yvonne taught in Catholic grade schools in Fargo, in St. Alphonsus High School in Langdon, ND, and at Shanley High School in Fargo where she served as the Chairperson of the English department. In 1971, Sr. Yvonne felt called to work among the poor in Appalachia, starting in McKee, KY, and then moving on to Jellico, TN, where she spent a total of 25 years setting up programs to help the local people help themselves. She also spent five years in Native American Ministry in Lame Deer, and Busby, MT. Sr. Yvonne served in administrative posts in the Presentation Order- as Director of the Peace and Justice Office, as Vice-President of the Order and as Council member and Director of Presentation Associates. Sister was living at the Presentation Sisters? Motherhouse in Fargo at the time of her death. Sister is survived by the members of her religious Community, her sister, Sr. Claudia Nelson, Fargo; Lois Nelson, Davin and Ann Marie Nelson, both of Spokane, WA, and nieces and nephews. Sister Yvonne was preceded in death by her father; mother; brothers, Richard, John, and Pat Nelson. In place of flowers, donations may be made to the Presentation Sisters? Foundation. Visitation: Thursday, March 6 from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and on Friday March 7 at 2:00-4:00 p.m. both at Sacred Heart Convent Chapel with a wake service at Church of the Nativity, Fargo, at 7:30 p.m. Friday. Funeral Mass: Saturday, March 8 at 10:00 a.m. at Church of the Nativity, Fargo. Interment: Holy Cross North Cemetery, Fargo, ND. Arrangements entrusted to Boulger Funeral Home, Fargo. Online guestbook at

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  1. Richland, Wa. 99354 We both had the privilege of having Sister Claudia as our music teacher in High School. Not only was she an excellent teacher but also a friend and confidant. Rest in peace Sister!!

  2. Fargo Sr. Claudia was always so happy to see me when I would visit or volunteer at the Convent. I was particularly impressed that she remembered my name, always saying “Hello Lisa” when she saw me.
    She was a kind and caring lady and will be greatly missed.

  3. Estero FloridaOur prayers go out to Sister Claudia’s family. She was such an inspiration and I will always remember glee club and all the recitals. Rest in peace.

  4. Fort Collins CO ColoradoShe was the best teacher, I had known her for many years. Was taught by her for several of those. She brought out the best in my voice and piano and pushed you to your limits because she knew you could do it. I had never heard a negative comment from her. It was not in her nature. She believed that everyone had a musical talent and she worked to bring that out. She brought out the best in a student. She had a joy for life that was infectious. She will be greatly missed as a friend, teacher and a role model.

  5. My prayerful sympathy to all the Presentation Sisters! Claudia was a special person and she will be missed. I always enjoyed her presence. I appreciated her directing the sisters schola when I lived with you 1997-2000! Wonderful memories.
    God rest her soul. Sincerely, Sister Susan Lardy

  6. La Canacinta Ajijic Jalisco, MexicoSr. Claudia was one of the warmest, kindest, most patient people I’ve ever known. She made people feel loved–even Bill Westerholm and me–:) Her legacy to anyone who knew her was one of acceptance, tolerance, and unconditional love. Fifty years after I drove her crazy by wanting to talk incessantly during my piano lessons (rather than play, thereby demonstrating I hadn’t practiced–something she already knew, of course), I think of her from time to time, and I always smile. The Sisters of the Presentation were surely blessed with both Sr. Claudia and Sr. Yvonne (that unyielding task-master who made us begin with both the title and name of the poem we were then to recite PERFECTLY-word for word–and then DIAGRAM them afterwards)– These were wonderful women, reflecting always the true teachings of Jesus, rather than the raptrapcrap we hear spouted so often by Christian-wannabes. The world lost a great wordsmith in the passing of Sr. Yvonne, and a great deal of color when St. Claudia followed suit. Who will take their places? Anybody have any salt?? Thank you Sisters of the Presentation–and that includes you, Sr. Paula–wherever you are!

  7. Osage MN
    Praise God for giving me Sister Claudia during my high school years. I loved going to choir and she was most of the reason why. I was shy about having a “deep” alto voice (not a bad voice, but deep), so what did she do? Had me sing tenor with the boys on some of the songs, and it worked well. God bless the memory of Sister Claudia Nelson. R.I.P. Sister. (P.S. my Mom is in heaven too and has a beautiful voice, she even sang for several memorial services, and clubs in Fargo…enjoy).

    Dee Dee Doyle-Olson

  8. Vienna AustriaI am saddened to hear of Sr. Claudia’s passing. She was a wonderful mentor and inspiration to me and to many others. She, her family and loved ones are in my prayers.

  9. Fargo ND
    She was wonderful to be around…Very Spirited with Girls Chorus when I was at Shanley ’68-72..My Sister was in Chorus and Sister Claudia would always ask me when she saw me,”How is your darling Sister Maddie,”She will be missed.

  10. Sr. Claudia will forever be remembered as the teacher who brought my love for music to its highest level. She could be a little terse at times, who wouldnt be directing a choir of 100 plus silly high school girls?! But what that woman could bring out of those young untrained voices was nothing short of amazing. And she exposed to an array of music and composition that truly broadened us. Being under her tutelage was among one of my richest expereinces at Shanley. The Cocerts and Choir trips one of the Highlights of the year. rest in Peace Sr. Claudia. I know you are singing among the heavely choirs. Thank you. Your forever grateful student, Jane

  11. Fargo ND
    Rest in Pease Sister Claudia. Your spirit lives on in many of us who knew you. Your humble determined spirit will not be forgotten! Your were a great music teacher and that will also carry on. We send our prayers to your family and friends.

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