Duane Nelson, age 57, of Winthrop passed away peacefully at his home on Thursday, May 12, 2016, after a battle with Pancreatic Cancer.
Mass of Christian Burial will be Wednesday, May 18th, 10:00 A.M. at St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church in Winthrop with interment in Pine Tree Cemetery, 6172 County Road 45, rural Brainerd, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Daggett-Brook Town Hall starting at 4:00 P.M. Memorials preferred to the Winthrop Lions Club or the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training (www.lls.org).
Visitation will be Tuesday, May 17th, from 4:00 P.M.-8:00 P.M. at the church. There will be a Prayer Service at 3:30 P.M. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Wednesday.
Duane James Nelson was born on January 28, 1959, in Brainerd, Minnesota, the son of Hilding “Bill” and Rita Nelson. He was an active FFA member and a 1977 graduate of Brainerd High School. Duane attended the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where he was a member of the Delta Theta Sigma Fraternity and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Animal Science in the spring of 1981.
On June 20, 1981, Duane was united in marriage to Mary Hupf. They rented a farm near Owatonna, Mnnesota, and started their dairy farming career. They were blessed with three children: Erik, Tracy, and Brenda. In April of 1988 they purchased the farm north of Winthrop and built up a distinguished herd of Registered Holsteins and Ayrshires. Duane’s passion was his cows and he enjoyed using genetics and nutrition to develop the herd into what it is today.
Duane loved dairy farming, spending time with his family, especially his grandchildren, gardening, playing cards and games, being a Winthrop Lion and helping others. In 2009, he and daughter Brenda joined the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training where, over the span of 5 years, he completed one half marathon, 4 full marathons, and a duathalon. While with the Team he raised over $20,000 for cancer research. He was an active member of the Winthrop Lions Club, St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, and was on the board of directors for Genex Cooperative and Cooperative Resources International (CRI) for many years.
Duane is survived by:
Mary, his wife of 34 years;
children, Erik (Megan) Nelson,
Tracy Nelson, and
Brenda (Alex) Miller;
grandchildren, Charlie, Levi, and Nora Nelson, Caleb and Travis Miller;
siblings, Leo Nelson, Iris (Steve) Shively, William (Sue) Nelson, Ed (Gayle) Nelson, Rosanne (Bruce) Caughey, Ron (Barb) Nelson, Gloria (Rick Williams) Nelson;
many nieces and nephews.
Duane was preceded in death by his parents, Hilding “Bill” and Rita Nelson and brother-in-law, Steve Hupf.
Ronald Meyer says
Duane was a genuinely nice man. I always enjoyed talking to him. I am sorry for your loss. Ron Meyer-ANC
Erik Nelson says
Thank you for being the best dad a guy could ever ask for. Love you!
Your dad was an amazing man. Blessed be his memory!
Kaylene Grams Gohr says
So sorry to hear about your dad Erik. Duane is an amazing guy. I will cherish all my 4-H memories of him and the rest of your family. We will be thinking and praying for all of you during this difficult time. Take comfort in knowing he is not suffering any more and I bet my lucky star he is up there milking for our good Lord with a smile on his face while watching over all of you. Deepest Sympathy, Kaylene Grams Gohr
Lori Cacka says
Very sorry for your loss. Cherish all the great memories you have.
Mark Lori Molli and Kasidy Cacka
Laurie and Rich Klement says
Dear Mary and family, words seem to have no meaning right now. Our hearts are breaking for you all. Here is a virtual bear hug for you. ???
Linda Hanson says
Our prayers are with you – Mary, Tracy, Brenda and Erik and your young families. Our hearts hurt as well.
Kaylene Grams Gohr says
I am so sorry to hear about Duane. He was an amazing guy. I will cherish all the 4-H memories I have of him and the rest of you. Thoughts and prayers to all of you during this difficult time. Let he be pain free and milking cows along side our savior and watching over all of you.
David Miller says
So sorry to hear that Duane lost his battle with cancer. I have not seen my old college roommate in many years but he always showed a lot of class. He was a great roommate and friend and I’m sad I did not stay in touch more over the years. It was so nice to hear about his running and fundraising for Leukemia and Lymphoma Research. His life and his impact on others will never be forgotten.
Linda, Dale and Dayne says
Love and hugs to you all. We know Duane is healthy now. Peace to him and you. Xo
Stephanie Vinton-pollock says
To Erik and family- I’m so sorry to learn of your Dad’s passing. Please know you all are I our thoughts and prayers. Cherish the good memories and may peace be with you!
Darin and Nancy Hegland says
Our thoughts and prayers are with your family at this difficult time! I remember Duane as someone who always had a smile on his face and cared deeply for his family.
Sarah Young says
This breaks my heart, the Nelson family was always so good to us Koeps and we will always remember that! You taught us so much about your farm, chores, canning things for 4-H, eating rabbit (which was crazy to me at first – but pretty good!), etc. All the Nelsons are apart of some of my most favorite memories! We will love and miss you forever Duane! Take care! Sarah Young
Sharon Callister says
Dear Mary, I was so sorry to learn of your husband’s death via my Lambda Delta Phi e-mail notification. I have such fond memories of you as a student and Randolph High School, and later learning that we both joined LDP while students at U o MN-St. Paul. My wonderful husband Colin, who you also knew, died of cancer in 2011. God will be faithful as you and your family walk through this valley and beyond. With caring and prayers, Sharon Callister
Russ Grabau says
I pledged DTS with Duane. There is not a better guy on the planet. So glad to hear he has 5 grandkids so that generation can be blessed with the likes of Duane & Mary. I will be praying for you Mary & your family and Lord willing I will see you next week. Russ Grabau
Beth Brekke says
Mary and Family, So very sorry to hear of this–I had no idea you were going through such an awful thing. May God’s promises bring you peace and healing.
So sorry to hear about this. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Paula Frick says
My deepest sympathy for the family – but I bet Duane is getting the dairy herd in heaven all straightened out!
Rachel Arntson says
Duane was the most awesome Team in Training member. I am so very sad to hear about this. Take care. I wish you comfort and peace.
Randall Henkemeyer says
Mary and family, I’m so sorry for your loss. I had the pleasure of running two of Duane’s marathons with him in Ankorage Alaska and Fargo for team in training / LLS.org. Duane was a great person, loved his wife Mary and his family!! I have great memories of Duane and was so upset when I heard of his passing. Mary – I’m so grateful to have spent time with you both. Randall Henkemeyer
Lowell and Charlette says
It saddens our hearts to know that Duane is no longer with us. In the time that we knew him, he was a dedicated, caring person. He was always anxious to do the right thing and he did. I know the Winthrop Lions and his church family will miss him greatly! Duane’s home is now a heavenly home. We can only hope we have the privilege of seeing him one day.
Lowell and Charlette Abbas
Trent Olson says
I am so sorry to hear that Duane lost his battle with cancer. There are many great stories and memories, but one of the best possible accolades is the strong family that he raised and the lasting positive influence in the agriculture community. Prayers from the Olson family.
Donna Geiser says
I am so sorry for your loss. So very happy that Duane is now with our Father and you will join him some day.
Adam Lindeman says
I haven’t seen Duane in a long time, but I will always remember how nice of a person he was. He helped raise three great kids and was a real class act. I feel so bad for the loved ones he left behind. You guys are in my thoughts and prayers.
Gary & Irene Kajewski says
So sorry for your loss. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.
Steve and Cheri LeBrun says
Mary and Family, Really sorry to hear Duane lost his battle to cancer; please know you are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
Cindy Bigger says
Mary and family,
You have been in my thoughts and prayers. I rejoice in the fact that Duane is pain free and taking his first breaths in his new life. May your hearts be filled with God’s Peace.