My brother’s obituary

Steve Wayne Nelson, age 57, of Viking, Minnesota died August 25, 2014 at home from cancer. Steve died surrounded by his family, his cattle and his land.

Funeral services will be 10:30 am on Friday, August 29th, 2014 at the Zion Lutheran Church in Viking with Pastor Dale Knotek, Pastor Ollie Urdahl and Pastor Marlene Anderson (aunt) officiating. Burial will follow at the Viking Cemetery of rural Viking, MN. Visitation will be held at Johnson Funeral Service Thursday night from 5-8 pm with a prayer service at 7 pm.

Steven Wayne Nelson was born June 13th, 1957 to Alice (Zavoral) Nelson and Victor (Gene) Nelson in Thief River Falls, MN. Steve attended elementary school in Viking and graduated from Marshall County Central in Newfolden, MN. Steve was always involved in athletics and was a letterman in football, wrestling, basketball and baseball-he was also all-conference as a football player. Later he played in the softball league in Newfolden and bowled with Rundell Electric. “Bear” was a good athlete and a good sport when he played.

Steve was first married to Carol (Nelson) in 1978 and to this marriage was born one child, Jamie. Steve married Jeana Anderson on December 6, 1986 at Zion Lutheran Church in Viking. Steve was very proud of Jeana as they partnered to blend their two families into one. Steve loved Lynel and Andy and counted on them to make his family complete.

Steve had a special relationship with his son, Jamie. It was very much like the relationship he’d enjoyed with his own father. Steve and Jamie formed a bond out of work, respect and love. Steve is gone but this relationship is still very present.

Steve was a life-long farmer. He milked Holstein cattle from his youth until 1999. He raised beef cattle from 1976 until earlier this week. He built-up every bit of land he ever farmed using good practices which left the soil in better shape for his efforts. If you ever saw Steve tousle the brow of a cow or spend the better part of a month bottle feeding a calf so it could have a life, then you would know that Steve was not an “agri-businessman.” He was a farmer. He never took the easy way through anything, he relied on his own work-ethic and accepted life and lived it on his own terms even when things got tough.

Steve worked at Excel dairy for a period of time after he quit dairying. Later, Steve and Jeana owned and operated Town and Country Meats in Newfolden until just recently. Steve used the same principles in his business as he did on the farm. He made many friendships in the locker and did a lot of good, hard work.
Steve was a good person. As children, each of us had one drawer for cherished possessions. One day, two of the younger boys were going through Steve’s drawer and even broke some things. Steve sat there, crying, but wouldn’t stop us because he saw we were having fun. Steve was so determined, even when he was sick. Just last week, he changed a tire himself even though he was so weak that he had to stand on the tire wrench to tighten the studs. He was kind to people and animals; if you were Steve’s friend, part of his family, a cow, a dog or any part of his world-then Steve loved you.

Steve liked to have fun, always engaging nieces and nephew in games.
He was competitive and loved to stand in the barn alleyway opposite a brother and exchange body blows. He insisted on games of one- on- one basketball in between throwing loads of hay bales and would encourage or coach any of us in any sport. Steve was a quiet, private person but had a sharp, ironic sense of humor and liked to laugh.

Steve Nelson is survived by his wife of 28 years, Jeana, his sons Jamie of Viking (special friend Amber Efta,), Andy (Brigitte) Anderson and Lynel (Brad) Svir, of Thief River Falls. Steve is survived by a sister Deb (Michael) Waterworth, brothers Dave (Mary) Nelson, Darrel (Melanie) Nelson and Grant (Lisa) Nelson. He is also survived by grandchildren Casey, Clay, Aarron, Tevin, Justin, Madison and Nicholas. Steve is also survived by brothers-in-law, Bob Anderson, Roger (Lindie) Anderson and Ronnie (Laurel) Anderson; and several aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. Steve is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Douglas; grandparents, Emil and Hannah Zavoral and Victor and Tilda Nelson; father and mother-in-law, Richard and Jean Anderson.

Steve told us that he wasn’t as concerned about death as he was about finishing his work. He also said he had no “bucket list” and that he simply wanted to live the life he’d created; to spend time with Jeana and his family, work on his farm and care for his cattle until he was gone. He was accomplished in death as in life.
He did it!

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