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Duane Clayton Nelson, 86

Duane Clayton Nelson was born on February 22, 1931, in Barnesville, MN, to Hartvig and Mabel (Solum) Nelson. He grew up on the family farm, attended country school until 8th grade and was a member of the Rollag Lutheran Church. He completed his high school education at Barnesville High School and the Northwest School of Agriculture in Crookston. Duane married Inez Arneson on June 14, 1953, at Rollag Lutheran Church. The couple made their first home at the Nelson farm. In 1954, Duane was drafted into the Army and left for his basic training at Ft. Leonard Wood, MO. Duane returned home on leave when the couple was blessed with their first child, Debra Mae. Duane was next stationed in Fort Hood, TX, where he and Inez welcomed their second daughter, Patricia Kay. Honorably discharged from the army in 1956, Duane began classes at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN, where the couple’s family continued to grow with the birth of daughter, Beth Renee. Duane graduated from Concordia in 1960 and from the Luther Theological Seminary, St. Paul, MN, in 1963. Ordained at Rollag Lutheran Church, Duane answered his first call to the parishes of First Lutheran Church, Middle River, MN, and Gustav Adolph Lutheran Church, Strathcona, MN, where Duane and Inez’s son, David Martin, was born. In 1966, the family left Minnesota to serve four years of missionary work in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, East Africa. In 1970, Duane accepted his next call to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Pequot Lakes, MN, where he served the congregation for 27 years. The family was, again, blessed with the addition of two more daughters, Susan Marie and Lori Ann. Duane and Inez retired to Moorhead, MN, in 1997, where they continued to celebrate a life of blessings. Duane’s passion for his Christian faith, singing, and laughter was best summed up by him in his writings about Christmas gatherings growing up: “We would all gather around the piano and sing and sing until we couldn’t sing anymore. Then we would indulge in another gift… a sense of humor. We could spend a lot of time laughing until our eyes were full of tears. But it was always in the context of giving honor to Christ. That taught me where real humor was found, and that is in the context of the joy of living in the Christian faith and life.” Passing along his love of faith, song and laughter will surely be his legacy. Soli Deo Gloria. Duane passed away at Eventide Lutheran Home in Moorhead the morning of Friday, August 4, 2017, with family members by his side. He is survived by his wife Inez, daughters Debra (David) Bottem, Barnum, MN; Patty (Kris) Gulsvig, Moorhead, MN; Beth (Tom) Iverson, Moorhead, MN; son David (Anne) Nelson, Vadnais Heights, MN; daughters Susie (Aaron) Enright, Princeton, MN; Lori (Natty) Messick, Fertile, MN; nine grandchildren, Becky (Tyler) Fisher, Peter Gulsvig, Kyle, Mick and Siri Nelson, Annika, Zoe and Bjorn Messick, Lily Enright; one great-grandchild Hazel Fisher; and his brother Harland Nelson, Decorah, IA, as well as nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Curtis; sisters-in-law Mary and Corinne; and brother-in-law Wayne. Visitation 5-7PM, Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at Wright Funeral Home, 605 2nd Ave. S, Moorhead and also one hour before the funeral at 1:00PM Wednesday, August 9 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 210 7th St S, Moorhead. Online guestbook and video tribute at Wright Funeral Home

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