ROBERT “BOB” EDWARD NELSON, age 94 of Janesville, died on Friday, December 3, 2021 under the loving care of the staff at Whispering Creek in Janesville where he had resided the past 13 months.
Born in St. Peter on August 13, 1927, Bob was the son of Sigfrid and Alma (Johnson) Nelson. He began his schooling in rural Oshawa Township before graduating from St. Peter High School with the class of 1945. After high school he worked on the family farm before he was drafted into the United States Army in 1952 at Fort Snelling. He went to Fort Sill in Lawton, OK before he was sent to Korea in November of 1952. He was in Korea for a full year, including when the truce was signed in July 1953. He was a part of the 623rd Field Artillery Batallion, Battery B. He returned home in time for Christmas of 1953 and was honorably discharged February 16, 1954 from Fort Sheridan. He returned to the farm in St. Peter. He married Betty Lou Jernagan on March 9, 1957 in Indiana, her home state. The couple farmed in St. Peter and their 2 daughters were born there. In 1960 they moved “up north” and lived in Elk River, Princeton, Foreston and Milaca. Bob built curved concrete stave silos, traveling throughout MN and IA. He then began selling and installing barn and milking equipment. Bob and Betty moved to Janesville in 1978. Bob worked for J.C. Marlow in Mankato for a while, then the municipal power plant in Janesville before returning to the barn equipment business. He continued in this profession until he was in his 90’s.
Bob was a lifelong Lutheran. He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church in Janesville, where he served on the church council and was willing to help with whatever needed to be done. He was a lifelong member of the Janesville American Legion Post 281 where he had served as chaplain, vice-commander and commander. He was commander when the Veterans Memorial was constructed in the park. He was very proud of his military service. He had the privilege of flying to Washington, DC on the 31st mission of the Never Forgotten Honor Flight in 2018, accompanied by his daughter, Ruth.
Bob was happiest when he was spending time with his family, walking outside, and driving in the country to check on the crops. He never lost his farming roots.
Bob is survived by his daughter, Ruth Nelson-Lau and her husband Daniel Lau of Merrill, WI; three grandchildren, Jennifer Lau and her significant other Ray Fenzl of Wausau, WI; Ashley Henrichs and her husband Jake of Medford, WI; and Krista Johnson and her husband Jason of Brainerd, MN; six greatgrandchildren, Evan, Emma and Elizabeth Henrichs and Lilian, Nikolai, and Silas Johnson; three siblings, Donald Nelson of Madison Lake, Paul Nelson of St. Paul, and Barbara Lamont and her husband Bob of Madison Lake; in addition to numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and former customers. He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; one daughter, Helen Nelson; and five siblings, Helena Schmidt, Carl Nelson, Kenneth Nelson, Leonard Nelson, and James Nelson.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 am on Saturday December 11, 2021 at Faith Lutheran Church, 300 Owen Street in Janesville. Visitation will be held from 9:00 am until the time of the service at the church. Interment will follow at Resurrection Cemetery in St. Peter with full military rites.
Memorial preferred to the Never Forgotten Honor Flight 225780 Rib Mountain Drive #234, Wausau, WI 54401 or the ELCA Good Gifts Program ELCA 8765 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631 goodgifts.elca.org or the charity of your choice.
The family would like to give a sincere thank you to all the staff at Whispering Creek for the wonderful care that they provided Bob at the end of his life. They became his family, especially during the pandemic and visiting was not allowed at the facility. They treated him with the dignity and respect and respect that he deserved.
Saturday, December 11, 2021
1:00 - 1:30 pm (Central time)