Harold Nelson

Harold Nelson

Harold Albert Nelson was born Jan. 25, 1927, and was the fourth child born to Albert William Nelson and Elveda Marie (Tell) Nelson. He was born in the Nelson farmhouse one mile south of North Branch. Harold and all of his siblings were born in the upstairs bedroom of the only house that Harold ever lived in.
Harold died Jan. 12, 2014, just two weeks short of his 87th birthday.
Harold was preceded in death by his parents, Albert and Elveda, sister, Merriam Josephine, and brothers, Harley William, Frank Everett, and Eldon Curtis.
Harold is survived by his brothers Roger (Pat), of North Branch, and Delano (Amy) of Hastings; nieces and nephews: Deborah Nelson (Pete Rech), of Anoka, Laurel (Jerry) Van Nyhuis, of Farmington; Bruce (Vicky) of Centuria, Wis., Brenda (Vaughn) Spurlock, of Washburn, Wis., Jeff, of Olympia, Wash., Randy (Shannon), of North Branch,, Jana (Larry) Davidson, of North Branch, Tami (Jeff) Grams, of Brainerd, Raoul (Patricia), of Salt Lake City, Utah, Eric (Janet) of Coon Rapids.
Harold is also survived by several cousins, grand nieces and nephews.
Harold attended the Budnick Country School (Budnick University); he went on to high school and graduated from North Branch High School in 1944. Harold joined the North Branch High School band during his sophomore year. He played the cornet that was handed down to him from his older brother, Harley. Harold passed it on to Roger, who has been tooting his horn ever since.
Harold attended the North Branch Methodist Church most of his life and sang in the choir for over 50 years. Harold always loved to sing and formed a barbershop quartet in 1958 known was the Coinci-Gents. The quartet competed with other groups and entertained at local events for a few years. Harold attended several Barber Shop Harmony Concerts at Bethel Seminary. This was a real a highlight for him. He loved the quartet harmony.
Harold lost sight in one of his eyes, early on from a cataract. Harold lost his eyesight completely on July 12, 2009. This was not low vision, or legally blind vision. This was darkness. The only thing Harold could see was an occasional weak flash of light, in the extreme periphery of what used to be his bad eye. Harold could tell if the lights were on and if it was night or day, thats about it.
Harold was a farmer; it was his job, it was his career, it was his livelihood and it was his passion. Harold was a progressive farmer and took charge of the family farm. He was possibly the first local farmer to chop his hay and store it in a concrete stave silo. He worked with the county agent and professors at the University of Minnesota to figure out just how to make this new process work.
Harold was one of the first local farmers to have a barn cleaner, a stacking slab system for the manure, silo unloaders, an automatic feeding system, a bulk milk tank with a transfer system for the fresh milk and an irrigation system that could send water to almost every thirsty field on the farm.
Harolds farm, which was officially established in 1885, received the Chisago County Century Farm Award in 1991. It seemed like there was a Massey Ferguson tractor ready and waiting for every farming task.
Harold was seriously injured in a 2004 barnyard attack by a mean bull; he spent several weeks recovering in Green Acres. This injury left him with a serious limp. It didnt stop him from getting back to his farming passion soon after he was released.
Dairy production on the farm continued until January 2009, when North Branchs last dairy farm shipped its last load of milk.
Harold lived his last years, alone in his home, in near total darkness. He is truly one of the Greatest Generation.
Memorial services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, at Main Street Church in North Branch with the Rev. Phil Schmidt officiating. Music was provided by Nancy Rampp and the church choir. Visitation was held one hour prior to the service at church. Family interment will take place at a later date.
Arrangements were under the direction of Grandstrand Funeral Home in North Branch. Condolences maybe left at www.grandstrandfh.com

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