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Charles NelsonJuly 5, 1945 ~ June 20, 2017 (age 71)
Chuck Nelson, 71, Ayr, North Dakota, crossed the threshold beginning his soul-spirit journey Tuesday evening, June 20, 2017. He was at home surrounded by loving family members.
On July 5, 1945 Chuck was born to Norman and Louise Nelson, the fourth of five children. Three older siblings welcomed their little brother: Pat Kurtz (Clint); Ken Nelson (Carol); and Ginny Marr (Lynn). His birth was followed by another son, Larry Nelson (Corinne).
Although his parents farmed, when school started in the fall, they brought their five children to Fargo to attend school. Chuck formed endearing relationships beginning at Roosevelt Elementary spanning into his college years at North Dakota State University (NDSU). In Chuck’s senior year in High School he participated in the National Athletic Scholarship Society; “A” and “B” band as well as the Pep band; Track and Wrestling teams; Cross Country track team; Boys Intramurals and the Key Club. Academic and social involvement continued during Chuck’s college years. He joined the NDSU wrestling team after being recruited by coach Bucky Maughan. As a member of the Rahjah pep organization, Chuck promoted student body spirit. He enjoyed the fellowship of his Alpha Tau Omega fraternity brothers. Chuck's loyalty to the Bison continued throughout his life. As a Team Maker club member and season ticket holder, he deeply enjoyed greeting his extensive acquaintances while cheering on the Bison.
Chuck was drafted out of graduate school by the Marine Corp in 1969. He was trained as a corpsman and field radio operator. Chuck, a decorated Marine, served in Viet Nam in the 1st Reconnaissance BN, Charlie Company, the most decorated Marine Corp Company in Viet Nam history. Upon returning home, Chuck re-entered graduate school to complete a Master’s degree in Agriculture Economics.
In spring of 1973 Chuck joined his father, Norman, and became the third generation dedicated to agriculture on the family farm. In August of the same year, Chuck married Roberta Holm, whom he affectionately called “Bobbi.”
Chuck and Bobbi have two children: Scotty (Betsy Bohnenblust) and Stacy (Dan Heising). Stacy and Scotty gifted them with five grandchildren: Ben, Elsbeth, Charli Mae, Shae, and Rowan.
Working alongside his brother Larry, Chuck transitioned over 2000 acres to certified organic agriculture by 1982. He participated as a board member in Northern Plains Sustainable Agriculture Association. Chuck’s concluding commitment to the future of his family’s farm and sustainable agriculture was mentoring his daughter Stacy in establishing the largest certified organic apple orchard in North Dakota.
Chuck was respected, admired, and loved by many. He was a faithful son, brother, husband, father, grandfather and friend. Gaining satisfaction by helping others reach their potential, Chuck acted with honor and integrity, never avoiding duty or shirking a task. This was true in his relationships, academic, military, and agricultural achievements. Godspeed Charlie!
Memorials are preferred to the Erie American Legion in care of Art Buchholz, 15009 24th St. SE, Erie, ND 58029.
Memorial Service: Monday, June 26, 2017 at 2 pm at West Funeral Home, West Fargo with visitation one hour prior to the service.
Final Resting Place: Erie Cemetery, Erie, ND.
West Funeral Home & Life Tribute Center