Mary Lou Nelson


Mary Lou Nelson, 87, beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, passed away Saturday July 3, 2021 at Essentia Health St. Joseph’s Medical Center, Brainerd, MN.

Mary Lou was born to Nellie Murrell on June 14, 1934 in Chicago IL. She met and married the love of her life, John Nelson, and proceeded to raise a family of 2 sons and a daughter. In 1962, they moved from Chicago to Brainerd, MN and bought a hobby farm. Their home was known to many to be a place where the coffee pot was always on and you were always welcome. They loved to play host to friends and family who made the Nelson home their vacation destination. One of Mary’s favorite past times was picking berries, and the pies, jams and baked goods that came from her kitchen were a labor of love to all who visited. She was also very creative, and loved music and art.

When she was 50 years old, she went back to school, became a dental assistant, and worked for Dr. Joe Dudding until her retirement in 1995. She and John loved to travel around the country, often taking grandkids with them, until John’s death in 2009. Her family was everything to her and she enjoyed being with people and helping others. She was a member of the Church of the Nazarene and loved her church family.

She loved the Lord and looked forward to being in heaven with Him, her husband John and their son Chuck. She was very much loved and will be sadly missed by friends and family.

Left behind to cherish her memory is her son Tom (Nancy) Nelson, Worth, IL; daughter Linda (Gery) Thesing of Brainerd, daughter in law Linda Nelson, Brainerd, 6 grandchildren, and 9 great-grandchildren, all of whom she loved dearly. She is preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, John, and her son Chuck.

A celebration of her life will be Thursday, July 8, 2021 at 11am at the Church of the Nazarene, 16549 Johnson Road, Brainerd with Pastor Dave McGaffey officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. Memorials to Church of the Nazarene.

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