Gardening 08

Elaine (Gurney) Nelson

February 15, 1925 ~ August 11, 2023 (age 98) 98 Years Old

Elaine Nelson Obituary

Elaine Gurney was born in Camden, NJ, on February 15, 1925, the 7th and last child of Thomas S. Gurney and his wife, Marie Gillette, of Philadelphia, PA. In 1944, she traveled to California by train and found work in an aircraft factory called California Flyers as a “Rosie the Riveter,” making airplane wings for the B-17. Elaine liked working with tools and kept her own toolbox for the rest of her life. It was in California that she met, and a year later married, Nefton “Nip” Nelson, a handsome house painter from Scandinavian Minnesota.

In 1946, they traveled by train to settle in Clarkfield, MN, close to all his relatives and friends. To this union were born three sons: Thomas of Boyd, Terry of Bellevue, NE, and Robert of Clarkfield. Elaine and Nip raised their happy little family with love in a converted “chicken coop” with a little 3-seater outhouse and no running water in the “sleepy little town” as Elaine affectionately referred to Clarkfield. Just the basics of life were all they needed.

Elaine was a hardworking wife and mother and held many outside jobs as a store clerk, Clarkfield Care Center employee, and then as local bank custodian for 15 years. She also served as a local Cub Scout Den Mother. After her retirement she worked in many crafts and was featured for several years with her doll-making abilities, large collections, shows, and some sales. Elaine was kind and considerate and enjoyed puzzles and crochet work, reading, writing, garden club, and pen-palling. She was proud of her father’s English and Irish heritage and her mother’s French and German heritage.

On Friday, August 11, 2023, at the age of 98, she was reunited with her beloved husband, Nip, in her heavenly home. She was preceded in death by her parents, Thomas and Marie Gurney; two sons, Thomas and Terry Nelson, and daughter-in-law, Connie Nelson. She is survived by her son, Robert Nelson of Clarkfield; grandson, Keith (Rachel) Nelson and their children, Josh and Ashley; Terry’s daughters, Victoria Rose, Julie, and Christy; great-granddaughter, Addison Rose; step-granddaughter, Myah; step-grandson, Sean (Heather) Swart and their children, Robert and Michael Swart, and daughters-in-law, Merri Sue Nelson and Christine Nelson.

Visitation will be held on Saturday, September 9th, 2023, at 1 PM at Augustana Lutheran Church in Clarkfield, followed by a memorial service at 2 PM. Interment to follow in Clarkfield City Cemetery. 

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September 9, 2023

1:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Augustana Lutheran Church (Clarkfield)

Memorial Service
September 9, 2023

2:00 PM
Augustana Lutheran Church (Clarkfield)

Interment following funeral service
September 9, 2023

Clarkfield City Cemetery
430th St.
Clarkfield, MN 56223


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