Brian Nelsen, 54, Rock Valley

Published 1:29 pm Saturday, March 26, 2011

Brian Nelsen, 54, died Wednesday, March 23, 2011, at Hegg Memorial Hospital, Rock Valley, after a 5-year journey with cancer. A funeral service will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, Rock Valley. Burial will be at Valley View Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday until 4 p.m. at Porter Funeral Home, Rock Valley, and then with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Lutheran Outdoors in South Dakota or the Foster Grandparent Program.

Brian Richard Nelsen was born Sept. 21, 1956, in Albert Lea to Robert “Bud” and Hazel (Bush) Nelsen. He attended school in Albert Lea, prior to attending high school in Glenville. Brian graduated from Augustana College, Sioux Falls, S.D., with a degree in elementary education. He married Denise Markus on June 11, 1988. Brian taught sixth grade in Rock Valley and West Des Moines before finding a home at Northwest Area Education Agency as an educational consultant where he worked for 16 years. Brian had a lifelong love of learning that he longed to share with others. He loved nature and green spaces. Together with his family he loved outdoor ministry and had a special connection with Outlaw Ranch near Custer, S.D. Brian was known for always thinking of others first. His life exemplified Ephesians 4:32: “be kind and compassionate to one another.” Brian was a teacher, mentor and friend to many.

Surviving relatives include his wife: Denise Nelsen; sons: Mark and Chad Nelsen of Rock Valley; brothers: Eugene (Linda) Nelsen of Albert Lea and Scott Nelsen of Glenville; sisters: Judy (Bill) Raatz of Albert Lea and Mary Anne (Karl) Rollar of Chanhassen; brother-in-law, David (Deb) Markus of Rock Rapids; sisters-in-law: Debbie (Roger) De Young of Houston, Texas, and Darla (Barry) Olson of Chancellor, S.D.; parents-in-law: Dennis and Doris Markus of Corsica, S.D.; and many nieces and nephews.

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Brian was preceded in death by his parents: Bud and Hazel Nelsen; and brother-in-law, Darin Markus.