Gerald Leo Nelson was born on March 20, 1942 at Storm Lake, the son of Leo Ellven and Helen Lucille (Bottjen) Nelson. He was raised on a farm in the Galva, area. Nelson was baptized and confirmed at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Galva. He graduated from Galva High School in 1960. Following graduation Nelson attended Tech School in Omaha, Neb. He later went on to manage two different gas stations in the Sioux City area. In 1963 Nelson joined the Iowa National Guard.
On June 26, 1966 Jerry and Beverly Andresen were united in marriage at Trinity Lutheran Church in Akron. The couple made their home in Le Mars. Nelson began his career with Wilson Foods (now Tyson Foods) in Cherokee. He was inducted into the United States Army on May 13, 1968. After his discharge, he returned to Le Mars and continued his career with Wilson Foods. Soon after his return, Nelson attended night classes at the Sioux Empire College in Hawarden, earning his Associate Arts degree in May of 1976. On Nov. 4, 2005, Nelson retired after 39 years at Tyson Foods in Cherokee. Most recently after his retirement, Nelson has worked part time at Copper Leaf Golf Course in Merrill.
Nelson was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church in Akron until 1986 when he became a member at St. John's Lutheran Church in Le Mars. He was active in both churches through the years where he served on Church Council, ushered, taught Sunday School and served on various committees. He was a member of Le Mars Sportsmans' Club, Skyhawks and Wings (remote control flying clubs) and Wasmer Post #241 of the American Legion. He served on the Safety Committee for over 30 years during his career at Tyson Foods. He was also a Cub Master of Pack 184 and Little League Baseball Coach. Nelson's many other hobbies included hunting, fishing, golfing, woodworking, bowling and riding with his motorcycle buddies.
Nelson is survived by his wife, of 40 years, Bev of Le Mars; a son Brian Nelson and his wife Jean of Logan, and their children Taylor and Brandon, and a son Curtis Nelson and his wife Naomi of Ames; his mother Helen Nelson of Correctionville; a brother Dale Nelson and his wife Joyce of Holstein; nephews Trevor Nelson and his wife Pam of Omaha, Tracy Nelson and his wife Julie of Salix, and Trent Nelson and his wife Gina of Rapid City, S.D.; and several other nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his father Leo; a brother-in-law Eli Andresen and his wife Donna; and father and mother-in-law Fred and Lena Andresen.