Cover photo for Norma Nelsen's Obituary
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1923 Norma 2017

Norma Nelsen

July 9, 1923 — October 21, 2017

Norma Jean Nelsen, age 94, of Brainerd and formerly of Willmar, passed away on Saturday, October 21, at Edgewood Vista Senior Living in Brainerd.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 4, at Vinje Lutheran Church. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. A private interment will be held at Evergreen Cemetery near Blomkest. In lieu of flowers, memorials to the Rice Hospice, Vinje Lutheran Church or the Barn Theatre are preferred. Arrangements are with the Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar.

Norma Jean Nelsen was born on July 9, 1923, on the family farm in Fahlun Township, Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, the daughter of Edner and Alma (Lundin) Erickson. She grew up in the rural Svea community, received her education in country schools and graduated from Willmar High School in 1941. Norma Jean was a talented artist and earned a scholarship to attend the Minneapolis School of Art. Norma Jean enjoyed painting water colors. She returned to Willmar and was employed at the KWLM Radio Station and Butter's women's clothing store. On May 12, 1945, Norma Jean was united in marriage to Lawrence T. Nelsen and they made their home in Willmar. She worked as a secretary for the family business, Nelsen's Laundry in downtown Willmar and also as a homemaker. Norma Jean and Lawrence enjoyed spending summers at the family cabin on Green Lake in Spicer. They also enjoyed traveling across the United States and in Norway and Sweden. She was active with Vinje Lutheran Church, the Willmar Senior Citizens and the Barn Theatre.

She is survived by her children, Dr. Lawrence Nelsen of St. Paul, Mary Nelsen of Willmar; Paul (and Audrey) Nelsen of Willmar, Peter Nelsen of Brainerd, Elizabeth (and Phillip) Costas of Stamford, CT. and Robert (and Regina) Nelsen of Baxter; one daughter-in-law, Suzanne Nelsen of Willmar; eighteen grandchildren, Andrea, Carter, Christopher, Eric, Amanda, Ben, Cory, Eric, Emily, Addy, Ross, Chase, Max, Cullen, Cole, Nicole, Katie and Riley; nineteen great grandchildren and one great great grandson. Also surviving is one sister, Marian Fladeboe of New London, besides other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Lawrence in 2000; one son, Lee in 2002; two brothers, Waldo and Rayburn and two sisters, Lorraine Gray and Ramona Chalberg.

Sympathy cards and letters can be mailed to Peterson Brother Funeral Home and they will be forwarded on to the family.

Cemetery Details

Evergreen Cemetery

Blomkest, MN, 56216


NOV 4. 01:30 PM - 02:30 PM

Vinje Lutheran Church

1101 Willmar Avenue SW

Willmar, MN, US, 56201

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Norma Nelsen, please visit our flower store.


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