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Viola Nelson

March 24, 1908 — June 5, 2013

Viola Nelson

R. (Roxy) Viola Nelson was born on March 24, 1908, and passed away January 22, 2013. She was born at the Minnesota farm home of her parents, Roxy F. (Stillman) and Charles E. Ellison. There she grew up with her older brother, Charles, Jr., and younger siblings, Ernest and Frances. She was baptized in the Herman Methodist Church where she was a lifelong member particularly active in the church school and women's group. She was an early member of the newly formed 4-H clubs where she received many awards. Later she was a county 4-H leader and still later a club leader. She graduated from Hamline University with an English major and taught in rural Grant County schools. In 1937 she married Elmer L. Nelson. Together they raised four children, Anne, Margaret, Glenn and James, on the Nelson family farm. They also continued to actively support their community. Later they nurtured foster children; Debbie and her sister Vicky remained particularly close. After Elmer's death in 1984, Viola was able to live in her own farm home until her 100th year with the generous support of family and neighbors. In later years she made her home in Madison, Wisconsin, with her daughter Margaret. While there she published Letters from the Home Front, a book containing letters to her sister, a WAAC in WWII. Viola was preceded in death by her husband, Elmer, brothers, Charles and Ernest, sister, Frances, daughter-in-law Cheryl and foster daughter Vicky. Survivors include children, Anne (Audy W.) Baack, Margaret, Glenn (Margaret Dewar) and James (Charlene); grandchildren, Audy (Helen) Baack, Bert Johnson, Emily (Peter Hills) Johnson, Lawrence Nelson and Janet Nelson; great-grandchildren Aaron and Megan Baack; foster daughter Deborah Siegel and sister-in-law Marcine Degendorfer. A memorial Service for Viola will be held Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. at the United Methodist Church in Herman, Minnesota with Rev. Darrell Boe officiating. Inurnment will take place in Lakeside Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to UM-Morris Elmer & Viola Nelson Scholarship Fund, External Relations, University of Minnesota-Morris, 600 East 4th St., Morris, MN 56267-2132
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