Harley Nelson, 93

Published 10:08 am Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Harley Nelson, 93, of Austin, Minn., died on April 16, 2014. He was born Dec. 9, 1920, in Sauk Centre, Minn.



His parents were Ernest and Ellen (Kealy) Nelson. Harley graduated from Austin Senior High School and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He served as a medic in Asia during World War II. Following his honorable discharge he was united in marriage to Betty Lutz at Queen of Angels Catholic Church on Nov. 27, 1947. They settled in Austin where they raised nine children. Harley worked for Hormel Foods until 1981. After retiring, Harley dedicated his time in service to the Austin community as a volunteer at the Senior Center, as a University of Minnesota Extension Service Gardener and with Austin’s Master Gardeners program. Harley’s favorite volunteer experience was at Ellis Middle School where he provided guidance to students in the woodworking and art classes for 15 years. He received many awards for his volunteering and was presented with the 2005 Jefferson Award in recognition of outstanding public service. He and Betty were lifelong members of Queen of Angels Parish.

Harley is survived by eight children: Judi, Minneapolis, Dirk, Winona, Jeanne (Jim) Danneker, Winona, Harley, Jr. (Vicky Thompson), Bloomington, Jane (Brian) Gibart, Mt. Dora, Fla., Mary (John) Jondal, Sterling, Ark., Terry (Roxanne), Austin, and Patti (Tom)dePoortere, Green Village, N.J.; his sister-in-law, Evelyn Ring, New Hope; grandchildren: Kira, Jamey, Molly, Zachary, Patrick, Nicholas, Walter, Isaiah, Phillip, Andrew, Theresa, and Kevin; great-grandchildren: Madeline, Micah, Elizabeth, Samuel, Aubrey, Elsie, Julian, Mara and Brodie; many nieces and nephews.

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He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, and his son, Brice.

Harley chose to donate his body to science through the Mayo Foundation Anatomical Bequest Program. A funeral Mass will be held at Queen of Angels Church in Austin at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, May 21, 2014. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to a memorial at Ellis Middle School in Austin, or to the charity of your choice.