It is with deeply saddened hearts that the family of Lillian Viola Nelson wish to announce her passing on Monday, July 8, 2002 at Rainy River Hospital in Rainy River, Ont. at the age of 84.
Lillian was born Feb. 14, 1918 in McCrosson Township to Jens and Nanny Brusven. She was the youngest of three girls.
Sadly, Lillian’s mother died when she was only two years old and her father died when she was four. Lillian then was raised by her grandparents, John and Christina Olson, while her two older sisters were raised by other members of the family.
When Lillian went to live with the Olson family, they treated her like one of their own. As a result, she was blessed to be raised with many brothers and sisters, all of which predeceased her: Sophie, Albert, Alice, Godfrey, Leonard, Sigurd, Minnie, and Carl.
Lillian attended school at the West Branch in Bergland, Ont., and would walk through the bush the mile or so to school—rain or shine.
Lillian grew up into a beautiful young woman, where she worked as a housekeeper for various people in the area. It was while working for one of these people that she met her future husband, Floyd Vincent Nelson.
Floyd and Lillian were married May 20, 1939 in Rainy River and they were blessed to raise eight children together: Stanley, Roger, Shirley, Jerry, Judy, Allan, Dennis, and Richard.
Lillian was a stay-at-home mother while her children grew up; tending the garden and small farm, baking fresh bread, and keeping the children out of trouble was just a small fraction of the things she did as a stay-at-home mother.
Lillian was always known to keep an open door, a loving heart, and a helping hand for anyone who needed it. She often was seen walking down the road, with her children in tow, carrying a birthday cake for someone in the area. She was always there for you with a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen to your joys and sorrows, and loving arms to hug you with.
Over the years, many people have been blessed by her kind heart. She often would see a need and act on it—bringing over a meal or whatever else was needed. She also was known for her services to the community throughout her life.
She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, holding many positions such as Relief Society President, primary teacher, councillor, and secretary, just to list a few. She received a Bicentennial Award on Dec. 9, 1984 for her many, many years of volunteer work.
She served as a member of the Bergland Recreation Committee for 39 years, and she also was a member of the Women’s Institute, the Seniors’ Club, and the Little Grassy River Research Committee.
She worked for many years for Community and Social Services, looking in on the elderly, taking them where they needed to go and helping them in whatever capacity they needed help with. This was a job that came naturally to her.
Lillian was predeceased by her parents; husband; and son, Dennis on Nov. 21, 2001; sisters, Gladys Swenson and Agnes Tolton; grandson, Troy Nelson; great-grandson, Brian Newman; and great-granddaughter, Robyn Nelson.
She leaves behind her daughters, Shirley Larsen and husband, Leonard, of Bergland, Ont., and Judy Ferguson and husband, Hugh, of Winnipeg, Man.; and sons, Stanley Nelson and friend, Betty, of Devlin, Ont.; Roger Nelson and wife, Kathy, of Edmonton, Alta., Jerry Nelson and wife, Dodie, of Lethbridge, Alta., Allan Nelson and wife, Paulette, of Atikokan, Ont., and Ricky Nelson and wife, Dan’ette of Idaho Falls, Idaho.
Also surviving are 26 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren; step-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A visitation was held Wednesday, July 10, 2002 from 7 until 8:30 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bergland, with funeral services held the following day at 2 p.m.
President Charles Gate officiated, with interment in the Bergland Cemetery in Bergland.
Pallbearers were her grandsons, Donald Larsen, Robert Nelson, Gerald Nelson, and Ryan Nelson; and grandsons-in-law, Gary Schymko and Ronald Allard.
The family would like to thank the staff at Rainy River Hospital Long-Term Care for the great care they provided and request that in memoriam donations may be made to the Rainy River Hospital Long-Term Care, Box 236, Rainy River, Ont., P0W 1L0.
No matter how much space we had or how great our talent for the written word, this obituary could never do Lillian justice. Although she is gone, she will be forever in our hearts and minds, for a woman like Lillian will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace—we’ll miss you.