Rosella Leona Johnson Nelson Espelien, died January 12, 2014 at Parmly LifePointes in Chisago City, MN. Rosella was the fourth child of Marie and Louis Johnson. Born April 30 1919 in Grantsburg, WI. Her older siblings were Joe, Alice and Harvey Johnson.
All were born and raised on the farm of their parents, and Marie’s parents, in the beautiful farm house that her Father Louis built. Her parents only spoke Norwegian at the home and Rosella only learned to speak English when entering the school system in Grantsburg. Her best friend from childhood was a girl from the next farm. Harriette and Rosella remained good friends for over 90 years. Rosella’s favorite thing to do when she was a young woman was to go the local dances with her sister Alice, around the Grantsburg area. There she met many good and lasting friends! It was at these dances that she met both of her future husbands. She graduated from Grantsburg High School in 1937. Rosella was married to Neil Clarence Nelson in 1939 and raised their four children Wayne, Dennis, Susan and Lori, in southeast Minneapolis.
Rosella was a stay at home mom who sold Avon for about 20 years. She was a wonderful cook and baker and always made fresh bread, cookies, wonderful cakes and cinnamon rolls every week! She also worked a short time for UPS after Clarence became sick in 1973. Clarence died in 1979. Rosella was reacquainted with her childhood dance partner, Raymond Espelien, and they were married in 1980. They moved back to their Wisconsin childhood area and lived in Milltown, WI for 25 very happy and active years until Ray’s death in 2005. She loved spending winters in Harlingen, TX, but really missed her family when she was away.
Her grandchildren would eagerly watch for the first robins of spring so that they could call Cookie Grandma and tell her that it was time to come home now. She and Ray traveled to many different parts of the world including Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Norway where she still has many relatives living. She loved keeping in contact with her Norwegian family! She and Ray drove all over the US in their motor home seeing beautiful spots that she had only read about.
She is preceded in death by husband; Clarence (Click) Nelson; husband Raymond Espelien; son Wayne Nelson, brother Joe Johnson, brother Harvey Johnson and sister, Alice Johnson. Rosella is survived by her children, Dennis Nelson (Florence), Susan Thompson (Tom), and Lori Lysholm (Butch), nine grandchildren, and 18 great grandchildren, and sister in law, Dolores Johnson (Harvey). Funeral Service 2 p.m. Sunday, January 19, 2014 at Parmly LifePointes Chapel in Chisago City, Minnesota. Visitation one hour prior to the service at Parmly. Rosella will be laid to rest at Riverside Cemetery in Grantsburg, WI. Arrangements by Grandstrand Funeral Home in Lindstrom, Minnesota. Condolences may be left online at www. grandstrandfh.com