Shirley Nelson

nelson, shirley

Shirley Ann Johnson Nelson was born May 21, 1923, in Red Wing, Minnesota, to Victor L. and Glee (Dibble) Johnson. She was raised in the Red Wing and Cannon Falls area and graduated from Red Wing High School in 1941. She took Nurses training at St. John’s Hospital in Red Wing and in 1944 became a Registered Nurse. On November 11, 1944, she married sailor Phillip Marvin Nelson at the Episcopal Church in Cannon Falls, becoming a Navy wife for the next 16 years. They traveled to Florida, Maryland, California, and Tennessee, with frequent stays in Red Wing while Phil was "out at sea".

Phil retired from the Navy in 1960, and in March 1961 they returned to Minnesota. Together Shirley and Phil opened a watch repair and jewelry store in Northfield called The Time Shop. In the 1960's, Shirley continued her nursing career by establishing the cardiac unit at the Northfield Hospital. In 1983, they sold the store. Together, they spent time traveling with their trailer to Florida and for nearly twenty years they took summer trips to Lake Mary near Emily, Minnesota.

Shirley was very active in the VFW Auxiliary, serving as president form 1964-1966 and chairwoman of the Auxiliary’s Kiddie Parade during the Defeat of Jesse Jams Days for over 30 years. She received the Defeat of Jesse James Heywood Distinguished Service Award in 1997. She joined the College City Sertoma Club in 1996 and received the Sertoman of the Year Award from the club and went on to received the district award also. She helped set up the Women’s Invitational Golf Tournament at the Northfield Golf Club and was grand champion 7 times. Shirley continued golfing until 2006. She was well known for her sense of humor, friendliness, and the ability to get this done.

Survivors include 3 children and their spouses: Glee and Jim Stark of Northfield, Wendy and Bruce Howe of Minneapolis, Richard and Anita Nelson of Marathon, Florida; 6 grandchildren: Marvin (Michelle) Holt, Amanda Holt, Albert (Jenny) Wolf, Nickaline Wolf, Victor Wolf, Steven Nelson; 10 great-grandchildren; her sister-in-law, Phyllis Carlson of Mason City, Iowa; her brother-in-law, Arnold (Delphine) Nelson of Red Wing; and other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, her brother James (JJ) and her parents.

Shirley passed away Friday morning, March 20, 2009, at the Three Links Care Center in Northfield at the age of 85.

Memorial visitation will be 4-7 PM Wednesday, March 25, 2009, at the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the breast cancer fund or the Northfield VFW Auxiliary would be appreciated.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home.