Cover photo for Blair Jon Nelson's Obituary
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1957 Blair Jon Nelson 2023

Blair Jon Nelson

November 17, 1957 — May 30, 2023

Waseca, Minnesota

 

BLAIR JON NELSON, age 65, of Waseca passed away unexpectedly, surrounded by his loving family on May 30, 2023, in Waseca.

Blair was born on November 17, 1957, in Owatonna to Dwain and Marilyn (Denn) Nelson. An answer to Blair’s prayers was meeting Deanne Smetana and they were united in marriage on November 25, 1983, in Pine City at the First Presbyterian Church. They were married for 39 wonderful years and blessed with four children. 

Blair began working alongside his father and brother at the Farmers Insurance Agency in downtown Waseca. He worked at Brown Printing in Waseca for 20 years. Blair began selling real estate in 1994, and in 2007, he became co-owner of REMAX Masters in Waseca. Blair found his true niche when elected to District 3 Waseca County Commissioner in 2010. One of his proudest achievements was initiating the purchase of a weed harvester to bring Clear Lake back to its beauty and recreational use for the local community. Blair was also very proud to be part of the Waseca County Veterans Memorial project. Blair was an instrumental influence for local government in the State of Minnesota. In addition to his numerous roles he filled for Waseca County, he participated in many statewide and regional consortiums that brought recognition and funding to Waseca County. He sat on the Executive Board of Directors for the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC). He chaired the District VII Policy Committee for AMC and was nominated and elected by his peers as the Chair of the General Government Committee, which drives major legislative policy decisions of all County government in the State. Since 2015, he was actively involved with Region 9 Development Commission, serving key roles on Budget and Personnel, Board of Directors, Legislative & Communications and Community & Economic Development committees. Locally, he was a strong advocate of the Neighborhood Service Center and Food Shelf, the Waseca Arts Council, the Southern Minnesota Tourism Association, and the Waseca Lakes Association, serving faithfully on each of those committees. Blair ardently believed in a County’s right to operate a health plan independently on behalf of its residents and lent his voice of support for many years serving on the South Country Health Alliance Board of Directors. The impacts Blair made at the local, State and National government level are too numerous to count. However, it was very clear that in all areas he served, he ensured Waseca County and its citizens were well-represented and that their voice was heard. Blair was a sports enthusiast both on and off the field. He enjoyed coaching and officiating baseball/softball, football and basketball.

In 1977, Blair took the family’s lemonade stand to the Freeborn County Fair. He loved fair time, meeting new people and visiting with his customers. With the help of his wife and daughters they continued the family tradition of selling Nelson’s Lemonade until the family's retirement from Albert Lea in 2020. 

The center of Blair’s life truly was his family. He was a devoted husband, father, and grandpa. Although he deeply missed his first born son, Tyler, his three daughters whom he called his “trophy case” were his pride and joy and it was clear to all around him how much he adored and loved them.  Blair was always involved in their activities. He followed them to every sporting event and never missed a life moment with them. Blair and Deanne enjoyed spending their summers at their cabin on Lake Washington in Madison Lake. Great memories were made and will be cherished forever. Blair and Deanne were looking forward to celebrating their upcoming 40th Wedding Anniversary, traveling, retirement together and watching their grandkids grow. Blair loved being a grandpa. He absolutely adored his five grandchildren, spending quality time with them, and spoiling them every chance he had. Blair was always there for his family. His love was unconditional. Blair clearly was a people person and very kind hearted. There wasn’t a person whom he wouldn’t strike up a conversation, or a stranger he wouldn’t befriend. Blair was larger than life. He will be remembered by all who knew him for his selflessness and willingness to always help someone in need. He will be dearly missed. 

Blair is survived by his loving wife of 39 years, Deanne; children: Nikki (Chas) Benson of Waseca, Tenille (Tyler) Jennings of Elko New Market, Taylor (Chad) Ziemke of Mankato, grandchildren: Madalyn Benson (15), Annabelle Benson (12), Harper Ziemke (4), Carson Ziemke (20 months), and Jace Jennings (6 months); siblings: Blain Nelson of Waseca, and Blake (Robin) Nelson of Waseca; sisters-in-law: Cheryl (Chris) McHugh of Pine City and Debbie Smetana of Blaine; brother-in-law, Gary (Jill) Smetana of Pine City; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. 

He is preceded in death by his parents, infant son, Tyler, sister-in-law, Jody Nelson, father and mother-in-law: Eugene and Virginia (Flor) Smetana.

Visitation will be from 3:00-7:00 PM on Sunday, June 4, 2023 at the State Street Chapel of Dennis-Steffel-Omtvedt Funeral and Cremation Service. Visitation will continue for one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday. 

Funeral Service will be 11:00 AM on Monday, June 5, 2023, at Grace Lutheran Church in Waseca. Interment will be in Woodville Cemetery. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Blair Jon Nelson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, June 4, 2023

3:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

State Street - Dennis Steffel Omtvedt Funeral and Cremation Service

711 N State St, Waseca, MN 56093

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Visitation

Monday, June 5, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, June 5, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

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Burial

Monday, June 5, 2023

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