Norbert John Nelson of Austin, Minn., passed away at his home on July 13, 2017. Norb was born on the family farm in the beautiful bluff country of southeast Minnesota to Emma Sanden Nelson and Nels J. Nelson on Oct. 2, 1924. After graduating from Houston High School, he spent one year at Luther College before enlisting in the Navy. He saw extensive action in the South Pacific, taking part in the battles of Iwo Jima and Okinawa.
Following his service, Norb completed college at Luther and began his teaching career. In Aug. 1952, he and Mary Lou Lindahl were married at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, Minn. Three children were born to this union: Kimberly, Kirby, and Kris. Norb earned his Master of Science degree at Oregon State University in Corvallis, Ore., in 1959. His career of teaching physics and other sciences, spanned 30 years and included Austin High School, Austin Community College, and Mayo High School in Rochester, Minn.
Preceding him in death were his parents and four sisters, Carola, Jewel, Audrey, and Florence. Surviving him are his wife of 64 years, Mary Lou, and their children, Kim Nelson Brown, Kirby Nelson and wife Marian, Kris Nelson and wife Andrea. Norb is also survived by four grandsons: Kristopher Nelson and wife Kate, Nicholas Nelson and wife Iris, Ian Brown, and Nelson Brown. He is also survived by brother-in-law David Lindahl and wife Grace. In addition are several loving nieces and nephews, and many wonderful friends and neighbors.
Norbert Nelson was a quiet, thoughtful man with a quick but never hurtful wit. He enjoyed sports, loved reading, and was blessed to travel widely with family and friends. He will be missed.
A memorial service was held July 22, 2017, at St. Olaf Lutheran Church with Todd Portinga officiating. Military honors were conducted by Austin Post #91 American Legion and Olaf B. Damm Post #1216 Veterans of Foreign Wars. Memorials may be designated to Bread for the World, St. Olaf Church, or the Austin Public Library.