Carl Harold Nelson was born October 12, 1924 on the family farm near St. Peter, MN, the son of Alma Johnson and Sigfrid Nelson, a Swedish immigrant. After attending rural one room schools, he graduated from St. Peter High School.
He served in the US Navy during World War II in the Pacific theater, participating in the liberation of the Philippines. Carl worked at Wahl Clipper Corporation for 35 years, retiring as purchasing manager. He was a longtime member of St. John’s Lutheran Church, serving on the church council, on the building and finance committee, and as treasurer for many years. He was recently a member of New Life Lutheran Church.
Carl was a member of various community organizations and programs, many since their inception. In 1951, with other WWI and WWII veterans, he helped organize the first annual Easter Egg Hunt at Sinnissippi Park, an event still held by the Sterling Park District. He served as Commander of the Sterling VFW during the Korean War, attending military funerals of local service members killed in action. As Commander, on behalf of the club and auxiliary, he presented a large American flag to Sterling High School to be hung on the west wall of the newly built Fieldhouse. He was also a member of the American Legion. He served in a Sterling community committee comprising three members of eight service clubs: Rotary, Moose, Elks, Jaycees, Kiwanis, VFW, Gyros, and Lions. This committee organized the Sterling Little League baseball program, and as the third president of the league, he oversaw the installation of a scoreboard, dugouts, bleachers, and concessions. He was a charter member of the Sterling Optimist Club and helped build the first cabin at Camp Merrill Benson, a YMCA youth camp. Carl volunteered in the AARP income tax aide program and was a driver for the Whiteside County Veteran’s Assistance program. He also served as a civilian representative on the Whiteside County Crime Stoppers board.
He married Esther Mae Stern on September 1, 1951. She passed away on December 30, 1991. He married Dolores R. Broderick on July 24, 1999.
He is survived by his wife of 22 years, Dolores, daughter Christine (John) Pogue of Northfield, MN, son John (Lisa Goldberg) of Chicago, grandson Nathaniel (Kimberley) and great-grandsons Zeddrik and Zaiden Pogue of Livermore, CA. He is also survived by brothers Robert, Donald, and Paul Nelson, sister Barbara (Robert) Lamont, all of MN, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his wife of 40 years, Esther, his parents and stepmother, sister Helena Schmidt and brothers Kenneth, James, and Leonard Nelson.
Graveside services with military rites will be held at 10:00 AM Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at Calvary Cemetery in Sterling with Pastor Ben Anderson of New Life Lutheran Church officiating. Arrangements were completed by the McDonald Funeral Home in Rock Falls.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to New Life Lutheran Church and the American Cancer Society and sent to Christine Pogue, 1423 Archibald St., Northfield, MN 55057. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.