Cover photo for Dr. Wallace Nelson's Obituary
Dr. Wallace Nelson Profile Photo
1928 Dr. 2017

Dr. Wallace Nelson

February 17, 1928 — December 14, 2017

Dr. Wallace Nelson, Willmar, MN and previously of Lamberton, MN died peacefully on Dec 14 at the age of 89. Wally was a retired professor emeritus of the University of Minnesota and the founding Superintendent of the SW Experiment Station (Southwest Research and Outreach Center). He was born to Elmer and Mabel Nelson on Feb 17, 1928, in rural Walnut Grove, MN. Following high school graduation, he enrolled in the US Navy in May 1945, serving in Singapore on the Admiral's fleet. Wally then enrolled at the U of M St Paul campus and completed his bachelor and doctorate work in soil science. He married Arlene Michelson of Buffalo Lake, the love of his life, in June 1949. Wally became a professor with the U of M, and after 6 years at the Duluth experiment station was chosen at 32 years old, to start up the new experiment station in Lamberton. Over the next 34 years, he built it into one of the premier agricultural research facilities in the nation. Wally was an authoritative voice for agriculture and was committed to making sure that university faculty understood farmers' real problems and that research focused on solving them.
Wally devoted himself to the advancement of agriculture in Minnesota for over 40 years. He was an author/coauthor on more than 50 scientific papers, a fellow of the American Society of Agronomy, a Distinguished Alumni of the U of M, outstanding alumni of the U of M College of Agriculture and the 2011 recipient of the Siehl Prize for knowledge, the University's highest award for agriculture. In 2014, the U of M also endowed the "Wally Nelson Crop Production Faculty Chair". He was appointed to the board of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, a board member of North Star Insurance Company and numerous other positions and awards.
He is survived by his loving wife Arlene, married for over 68 years, son Thomas and wife Linda, daughter Kathy Hund and husband Fred, grandchildren Mark (Nicole) Nelson, Paul (Angie) Nelson, Megan (Charles) Hieb, John (Anna) Nelson, Rachel Hammarberg, Amanda (Ryan) Hund-Terrien , and Sarah (Ryan) Hund- Hagemeyer and 4 great grandchildren. He is also survived by his sister Shirley (Curtis) Schafer and brother Gary (Mona) Nelson. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Services will be held at Vinje Lutheran Church, Willmar MN on Tuesday Dec 19 at 11:00 am. Visitation will be at 9:30 am at the church. Interment will be at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.


Cemetery Details

Ft. Snelling National Cemetery
7601 34th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN, 55450-1199

http://www.cem.va.gov/cems/nchp/ftsnelling.asp

Visitation

DEC 19. 09:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Vinje Lutheran Church

1101 Willmar Avenue SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201

http://www.vinjechurch.com

Service

DEC 19. 11:00 AM

Vinje Lutheran Church

1101 Willmar Avenue SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201

http://www.vinjechurch.com

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