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Audrey Kay Nelson, 84

Audrey Kay Nelson, 84, of Birchdale, MN, died on Monday, January 28, 2019 at Sanford Bemidji Medical Center in Bemidji, MN. She fought a short, hard battle with cancer and was surrounded by her family at her passing.

Audrey was born on September 29, 1934 in Littlefork, MN to parents Hilmar and Lula (Lewis) Rud, the youngest of four children.  She attended Border School, where she was the Koochiching County spelling champion as an 8thgrader.  She graduated from Indus High School in 1952 and attended flight attendant school in Minneapolis.  Audrey worked in Minneapolis until she married Reuben Nelson on November 21, 1959.  They made their home in downtown Birchdale where she resided until her death.

Audrey worked for many years at the Baudette Region, and then as a bookkeeper at Rainy Lake Distributing in International Falls until her retirement.

After leaving the workforce at age 65, Audrey became the office manager for her son-in-law Soren’s bus company.  She learned to play the upright bass and was one of the founding members of the Sloughgrass family band.  She spent her retirement years walking, reading, gardening, watching Wheel of Fortune, complaining about the post office and touring extensively with Sloughgrass, throughout Minnesota and beyond.  She was always a featured character on the annual Sloughgrass family 4thof July parade float.

Audrey was a member of the Birchdale Congregational Church where she volunteered to mow the lawn every summer.  She was the treasurer of the Birchdale Cemetery Association, plus she ran Birchdale’s Memorial Day program and for decades, placed the graveside flags honoring veterans.

Audrey was preceded in death by her husband, Reuben; parents, Hilmar and Lu; sister, Jessie Dahl; and brother, John Rud.

Audrey is survived by her daughters, Christine (David) Hultman, and Judith Nelson (Soren Olesen), all of Birchdale; four grandchildren, Carl (Ariel) Hultman of Birchdale, Gary (Ashley) Hultman of Galax, Virginia; Sofia Olesen of Moorhead, MN, and Holger Olesen, currently attending university in Johnson City, Tennessee; two great-grandchildren, Braiden and Logan of Birchdale, and sister Zelpha Crawford of Loman, MN .

A Celebration of Life will be held on Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Birchdale Congregational Church in Birchdale followed by lunch.

Interment will be at the Birchdale Cemetery in Birchdale at a later date.

Memorials to the Birchdale Church would be preferred.

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