May 13, 2010 at 1:14 p.m.

Walter E. Nelson

Walter E. Nelson
Walter E. Nelson

Walter E. Nelson, age 91 of Chisago City, Minnesota, died peacefully surrounded by his loving family at the Margaret S. Parmly residence on Tuesday, May 11, 2010.

Walter served in the 2nd Division Army Band during World War II. After the war, he and his brother bought and ran the Mint Café on Main Street in Britton, SD, where he cooked. He briefly sold for Fuller Brush Company, then taught music to K-12 in Plankinton and Volga, SD. He finished his career clerking at the Post Office in Plankinton and Aberdeen. Throughout his life, music was his love. He played clarinet and saxophone in numerous dance bands, including the Jim Downie Band, the Don Warren Band, Desert Swing, and the Bob Downie Band. He joined the 147th National Guard Army Band in Mitchell and rose to Warrant Officer. At 91, he was still performing Big Band tunes at senior residences with his son-in-law Jan Raabe.

Walter is preceded in death by his parents, George and Coba (nee Peterson) Nelson; wife Wanda; eight siblings. He will be dearly missed by those who knew and loved him including his children, Carol (Jan) Raabe, Ione (James) Jones, Alice (George) Nelson-Lindall, Merle (Russ) Kosel, Boyd (Brenda) Nelson, Robert (Pam Jacob) Nelson, 28 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; sisters-in-law, Emma Nelson, Leone Nelson, Norma Martin; other family and friends. Walter will be dearly remembered for playing big band songs in a piano/sax duet for many area seniors.

A Celebration of His Life will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 15, at Zion Lutheran Church, 28005 Old Towne Road, Chisago City. A time of food and fellowship immediately following full military honors. Walter and his beloved wife Wanda will be interred at the Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, South Dakota later this month.

Memorials to Parmly LifePointes, 28210 Old Towne Road, Chisago City, c/o Piano Fund.

Mattson Funeral Home & Cremetion Service is handling arrangements, 651-464-3556.


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