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Nellie “Marie” (Nielsen) Meyer, 90

Nellie “Marie” (Nielsen) Meyer was born on January 24, 1921, in Richland, Iowa, to James and Kate (Black) Blakely.  Marie attended the Ag School in Crookston.  The family later moved to Baudette, where Marie worked at Clay’s Drug Store.  It was at Clay’s Drug Store that she met Jack Nielsen.  She told the story of how, after visiting with her, Jack backed out of the store, because he had split his pants earlier – the beginning of lots of laughter in their relationship.
 
Marie and Jack were married on April 8, 1942, in Baudette, MN.   James (Jackie) Howard Nielsen, was born on June 15, 1943, shortly before Jack was called to serve his country in World War II.  Marie and Jackie lived with Marie’s parents during Jack’s absence.  Marie often wrote in her diary of her loneliness for her husband and her fear that he would be hurt or killed in the war.  Happily, Jack returned home from the war, and their lives returned to normal.  Until recently, Marie kept in touch with all of Jack’s army buddies and their families, writing long letters to each of them every Christmas.  Their daughter, Nancy Kaye, was born four years later on April 13, 1949.
 
The family lived in a home on Baudette Bay until lightning struck their home in 1961, and they were forced to move into Jack’s mother’s vacant home next door.  Marie lived in that home until she moved into the Lakewood Care Center in 2011.
 
The Nielsen family took annual vacations to Illinois to visit Marie’s parents.  It was in Illinois that Marie discovered her intense love of roller coasters and various other rides at Riverview Amusement Park in Chicago.  It was a family joke that once Marie was on a ride, you couldn’t get her off.  
 
Marie lost her husband, Jack, in 1967, in a boating accident.  
 
Marie worked in various restaurants in Baudette, including Al’s Place and The Country House.  She waited tables for many years at Al’s Place, until it burned down.  When her good friends, Clarence and Myrtle Larson, built The Country House, she went to work for them waiting tables.  After assisting Clarence in the kitchen, she stopped waiting tables and began her career as a cook.  Her cooking expertise was well known in the community, as well as with out-of-town fishermen and hunters who made special stops at The Country House to sample her dishes.  
 
Marie met Lloyd Meyer while she was working at the Country House.  She married Lloyd on May 6, 1974, and immediately retired.  Once Lloyd retired from the telephone office, they spent their winters in Brooksville, Florida, and their summers in Baudette.  Marie and Lloyd loved to travel and sight-see, and took thousands of pictures to prove where they’d been.  Lloyd passed away on March 20, 1996, in Brooksville, FL.
 
Marie was a member of the Congregational Church and the Ladies Auxiliary in Baudette, as well as The Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, the American Legion Auxiliary, and Women of the Moose.  She was an avid bowler with an average of 165+.  She bowled for many years with her dear friends, Shirley Olson, Virgie Sindelir, Lois Mae Hanson, and Lil Brown.  Her “backup ball” was the best in town.  She also golfed in the ladies league.  
 
Marie was a member of the Widows’ Club, a group of local widows who got together to play cards, roll dice, eat lunch, drink coffee and simply enjoy being together.  These friends meant a lot to her.
 
Marie’s many interests, besides bowling and golf, included gardening.  She planted a beautiful flower and vegetable garden every year.  Many times each summer, tourists would stop and take pictures of her flowers.  She enjoyed baking, and made her own bread and caramel rolls for many years.  She donated baked goods to any bake sale in town.  She was a sports enthusiast and enjoyed being a spectator or simply watching games on TV.  She never missed a game.  She loved the Minnesota Twins, the Minnesota Vikings and the Minnesota Wild and kept track of the University of Minnesota teams.  Her favorite time of the year was during the Minnesota State High School Hockey tournaments.  She especially loved seeing any northern Minnesota teams play in the tournament and yelled at those games as if she was actually attending them in person.
 
Marie was a wonderful grandmother and great grandmother.  She never missed a birthday or a special event, and her calendar was full of comments, i.e. “Zach piano recital,” or “Scott and Ivy here.”  She checked her calendar religiously.  She knew what every grandchild or great grandchild was doing and where they were going on any given day of the year.  She lived for those special pictures of the grandkids that came in the mail, and she proudly displayed each and every one of them on her living room divider.  
 
Marie was especially fond of animals.  Having grown up on a farm, she and her brother rode ponies to school every day.  Her father raised harness horses, and she enjoyed going to the harness races.  She loved cats and dogs, and no stray was ever turned away from her door. The Nielsen family cats, Muffin and Timmy, were originally strays who came to the door and decided to stay.  Animals were always welcome at her house, and she loved being with the family dogs when they came to visit.  The family would marvel that the dogs would lie beside her bed at night, rather than stay by their owners.
 
Marie’s family sends their heart-felt thanks to Kathy (Nielsen) Caldwell (niece), Vickie Hasbargen, Judy Gubbels, Mary Marhula and the hospice staff and volunteers for their time, their giving, their caring, their thoughtfulness and their love.  Marie loved you very much.
 
Marie’s family would also like to thank Dr. Kumar, Dr. McGrath, Becky Poolman, Chris Pieper, and the entire staff at Lakewood Hospital and Care Center for the excellent care Marie received during her stay there.  
 
Marie was preceded in death by her father, James Blakely, her mother, Kate Blakely, her husbands, Jack Nielsen and Lloyd Meyer, and granddaughter, Glenda Meyer.  She is survived by her brother, Willard Blakely, Kenosha, WI; her children, James (Jackie) Nielsen, Baudette, MN, Nancy Anderson (Kelly), Cottage Grove, MN, Glenn (Ana) Meyer, El Cajon, CA, and Paul (Peggy) Meyer, Rice Lake, WI; her grandchildren, Scott (Ivy) Nielsen, Newport, MN, Kirsten (Rick) Harvey, Gainesville, FL, Marli Carlson, Negaunee, MI, Casey (Amy) Anderson, Woodbury, MN, Ann (Richie) Meyer-Jacques, El Cajon, CA, Valerie (Lance) Corton, Rice Lake, WI ; and great grandchildren, Zachary Wayne Carlson, Allison Renae Carlson, Jake Kennedy, Makayla Eve Corton, Dominic Aaron Corton, Walker Jack Nielsen, Becca Marie Nielsen, Aden Jack Anderson, Ava Marvyl Anderson and Elsa Marie Anderson.
 
Marie will be sadly missed by her life-long friends and relatives.  Rest in peace.  Memorial services will be on Friday, November 11th at 11 AM at Helgeson Funeral Home in Baudette, with interment at Elm Park Cemetery. “All memorials can be sent c/o:  Paul Meyer, 20 Kleusch Rd., Rice Lake, WI 54868-1853.”

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