Joan C. (Anderson) Nelson

March 6, 1931 ~ February 12, 2021 (age 89)


Joan C. Nelson, 89, of Willmar, died Friday, February 12th at Bethesda Grand in Willmar.  There will be a private family service to be held at Vinje Lutheran Church in Willmar with interment to be in Fairview Cemetery.  A recording of the service is available below and on the church's YouTube page.  Arrangements are with Harvey Anderson Funeral Home in Willmar.

Joan was born March 6, 1931, in Clarkfield, MN, the daughter of Ingvald and Julia (Satre) Anderson.  She grew up in Clarkfield where she graduated from high school in 1949.

On April 25, 1949, she was united in marriage to Leroy T. Nelson in Sioux City, IA.  They farmed near Clarkfield before moving to Willmar in 1961 where Leroy started with State Farm Insurance.  Besides taking care of their home, Joan was Leroy’s assistant and office manager, retiring in 1992. 

She was baptized on April 3, 1931 and confirmed on May 19, 1946 and has been a member of Vinje Lutheran Church since moving to Willmar.  Her church and faith was of utmost importance to her and she was one to be counted on to volunteer whenever needed. 

Her hospitality was unmeasurable, and there was always food to be eaten and baked goods to enjoy.  She was known to even barter Special K bars for fresh walleye! Spending summer holidays at Diamond Lake will always be remembered by family and neighbors.  Joan was full of love for her family but her sons recall she wasn’t short on discipline though. Other activities she enjoyed were knitting, quilting and time spent with the members of her church circle.

Surviving are her sons, Wayne (and Linda) Nelson and John Nelson, both of Willmar; six grandchildren: Matthew Nelson (Sarah), Sarah Nelson, Laura Nelson (Amanda), Stephanie McKinnon (Andy), Kierre Greene (Brian) and John Ryan. Great Grandchildren Noah and Maya Nelson, Julia Nelson, Mason and Kaden Toutges and Rogan Toutges-Nelson and Everleigh Green.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, Leroy; son, Paul and siblings: Irving Anderson, Alfield Friberg and Waldemar Anderson, and daughters-in-law Pat Nelson and Carolyn Nelson.


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