Nelson, Jean (Oen) (1919-2011)

Jean O. Nelson, 91, of Thief River Falls, MN died Tuesday, March l, 2011 at Sanford Medical Center in Thief River Falls.

Funeral services were held Saturday, March 5, 2011 at Silver Creek Lutheran Church in rural Thief River Falls, with Rev. Ale Tulu officiaing. Interment was held at Silver Creek Cemetery. Casket bearers included Darren Nelson, Jordan Nelson, Chad Pruden, Terry Kelley, Mark Anderson and Robert Rogalla.

Jean Oen was born at home on June 12, 1919 in Bounty, Saskatchewan, Canada to Harold and Anna (Bjorge) Oen. She was a twin of June. Growing up in Bounty, she rode her horse back and forth to country school. She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith.

At the age of 19 she moved to Excel township with her family, returning to the farm that Harold had purchased many years earlier.

Jean was united in marriage to Lloyd Nelson on June 11, 1941. They purchased a farm northeast of Thief River Falls and lived, farmed, and raised their family there. In 1967, Lloyd retired from farming and moved to Long Prairie for about a year. They then moved to Lake City until 1979, when Lloyd passed away. During that time, Jean worked in home health care and nursing home care. She returned to Thief River Falls for a short time. She then moved to Arizona near her twin sister for about a year. She longed for Minnesota and to be around to help her family so she then returned to Thief River Falls for the rest of her life. She had a special friend, Bob Gunstad for many years.

Jean’s life has been centered on her family and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She has helped instill good values and faith in their lives. Her Christian faith was her leader through life. As a member of Silver Creek Lutheran Church, she was active in the Ladies Aid, taught Sunday school and confirmation. Jean was proud of her Norwegian heritage and always enjoyed helping with the Syttende Mai celebration at Northern State Bank. She made wonderful lefse and tried to teach her family how to make it. She enjoyed playing cards and games, especially with her grandchildren. She remembered birthdays faithfully with phone calls or a card. You never left her home hungry. She was a wonderful baker and cook; her peanut butter rolls and caramel rolls melted in your mouth.

She belonged to the American Legion Auziliary, Sons of Norway, and Homemakers. Jean enjoyed sewing, quilting and gardening.

She is survived by three children: Les (Margaret) Nelson, Thief River Falls, Emily (Glen) Dahlquist, Maplewood, and Sandy (Larry) Pruden, Maplewood; nine grandchildren: Jackie (Mark) Anderson, Elk River, Julie (Robert) Rogalla, Onamia, Jayne (Sean) Dieger, Foley, Dale (Brandi) Nelson, Karlstad, Darren (Jackie) Nelson, Eagan, Kimberly (Sean Copeland)Dahlquist, Duluth, Christina (Terry) Kelley, Cottage Grove, Chad (Sarah) Pruden, Maple Grove, and Rebecca (Chris) Lee, Oakdale; 10 great-grandchilden: Jocelyn Schwartz, Denver, Jordy and Jason Rogella, Gracie Dieger, Jordan and Jadyn Nelson, Jennifer Kelley, Brayden Pruden, and Saysha Lee. She is also survived by several nieces and nephews, other relatives and friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Lloyd in 1979; a daughter, Jeanette in 1975; Great-granddaughter, Jade Dieger in 2004; 11 siblings: Lena Odegard, Alice Kenny, Henry Oen, Mabel Foulkes, Oscar Oen, Emma Billett, Arthur Oen, Roy Oen, Stanley Oen, George Oen and June Nelson-Odegaard.

Transcribed by: Cheryl Srnsky