Posted 3/09/11 (Wed)
David Nelson, 81, a longtime Keene, N.D., farmer and rancher, died at the Bethel Lutheran Nursing Home in Williston, N.D., early Monday morning, March 7, 2011.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Friday, March 11, 2011, at Keene First Lutheran Church in Keene. Intern Pastor Rob Favorite will officiate, and interment will be held at Clear Creek Lutheran Cemetery, rural Keene. Friends may share condolences with the family online at www.fulkersons.com.
David Albert Nelson was born Jan. 2, 1930, to Albert and Ingrid (Westerlund) Nelson on the family homestead near Keene. He was raised on the family’s farm and ranch, and educated at the Kinden School, later attending a year at Watford City High School and then finishing his education at Sanish High School, graduating in 1947. After graduation, he remained on the family farm and ranched with his father. When David was young, he made a trip with his father from Sanish to St. Paul, Minn., on “The Special,” a last of its kind cattle train to sell that season’s cattle crop. David spoke of that trip for many years as it had many first-time experiences for him.
On Jan. 17, 1954, he was united in marriage to Carolyn Olson at Killdeer, N.D. The couple continued to raise their family and make the homestead ranch their home these many years. Together they celebrated 57 years.
David was a member of Clear Creek Lutheran Church in Keene. He was an avid hunter and gun collector, was a lifetime member of the NRA, and held a federal firearms license. He was a member of the AAM - the American Agriculture Movement, and participated in Tractorcades as far away as Washington, D.C., to support Farm AG rights. He was instrumental in the beginning of the Dakota Resources Council for surface owner rights. He was a board member of Farmers Union Oil in Sanish. David was an accomplished pilot, and used his flying skills to harvest coyotes to protect his herds.
David enjoyed hunting and fishing and harvested big game from as far away as Alaska. He enjoyed pets, and many a stray dog would find a kind heart at the Nelson Ranch. He was a member of 50 Years in the Saddle and the Watford City Eagles. He was a director on the McKenzie County Grazing Board for many years.
David is survived by his wife, Carolyn, of Williston; sons, Steven (Wanda) Nelson of Watford City, N.D., and Donald (Rena) Nelson of Keene; daughters, Charlene (Loren) Bjornson of Durbin, N.D., and Rhonda (Greg) Pennington of Sidney, Mont.; 11 grandchildren: Matthew and his fiancee’, Shelly Bottari, Lindsay (Mike ) Ostlie, Marissa Nelson, Becky (Troy) Cundiff, Nathan Lohse (Dallas Fox), Curtis Lohse, Quincee Reinhart, Amanda Grewatz, Jake (Megan) Pennington, Ian Pennington and Charlie Pennington; five great-grandchildren: Walker, Kyah, Landen, Corday and Jayden; and sister, Annie Saulsberry, of Denver, Colo.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Nora Miller and Inga Kadrmas.
The family encourages donations be given in David’s memory to charities of the donor’s choice.
Friends may call at the Fulkerson Funeral Home of Watford City on Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and an hour prior to services at the church on Friday.